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Many foreign tongues have added to the wealth of English by gifts of words that now form part of our 

everyday speech. Some of the words gained in this way are shown in this picture by objects held in the 

hands of speakers of the languages that gave them. (See key on page vi.) 

Facing Page i. 

Edited by 


D.Litt. (Hon.), F.R.Hist.S. 

Associate Editors: 




The Waverley Book Company, Ltd,, 

96 & 97, Farringdon Street, 

London, E.C.4. 


TO THOSE who would know well their mother tongue, 
who would acquire an armoury of words adequate 
to the battle of life, and who would possess 
knowledge sufficient to enable them to appreciate all 
that our great authors, and poets, and historians have 
felt, and believed and spoken, all that they tell us of the 
past, record of the present, and read into the future, 
to these severally and collectively is THE WAVERLEY 


WISE people who have a genuine 
desire to increase their knowledge 
of their native language cultivate 
what may be called the dictionary habit, 
that is to say, they refer at every possible 
opportunity to one of those storehouses 
of words bearing the prosaic but significant 
title " Dictionary." 

It is amazing how one's fund of 
knowledge will gradually but unfailingly 
be enriched in this way, and it is no less 
amazing how frequently one is called upon 
to refer to such a work, even if only a 
working knowledge of a language is 

In the course of our every-day conversa- 
tion we make use of words that are, 
naturally, familiar to us ; but in the 
course of our daily reading, how often do 
we meet with words that are unfamiliar ? 
It may be that some of these words, as 
words, are known to us, yet we do not 
fully appreciate their meaning, or their 
different meanings for many words 
possess a number of meanings nor would 
we know exactly how, where, or when to 
use these words if we wished to include 
them in our conversation or our writings. 

Pronunciation, too, we may find another 
barrier difficult to overcome, and this may 
well be so, considering that in very many 
instances there is a difference of opinion 
even among authorities on the English 
language as to the way in which certain 
words should be pronounced. 

No matter how much we may read, or 
how often we may listen to the speech of 
others, it is not possible for us to become 
acquainted with the proper use of words 
and their correct pronunciation without 
the aid of a dictionary. Nor will an 
ordinary dictionary meet all our require- 
ments, for ordinary dictionaries often fail 
just where we most need help 

What is really wanted is a dictionary 
that explains the meaning and gives the 
pronunciation of every word that we are 
ever likely to look up, and, in addition to 
this, shows us, by means of stories and 
other explanations, how the words are 
used. To take an example. All diction- 
aries will tell us what the word bucolic 
means, and also how it is pronounced ; 
but we may search in dictionary after 
dictionary and never find as we shall 
DICTIONARY exactly how to pronounce 
the adverb bucolically, and how it is 

The pictures, too, will be found an 
invaluable help. While their artistic 
standard is very high, their main purpose 
is to explain. Photographs have been 
used when the camera has been able to 
meet this end, but in explaining technical 
words pen, pencil, and brush have in many 
instances been found to bring out the 
meaning more clearly. Which of us can 
fail to realize what abrupt means when 
looking at the sheer and giddy drop of 
the cliff illustrating this word ? which of 
us will not know a good deal about the 
barbette of a battleship after studying the 
drawing on page 336 ? 

These are but two examples of the 
many thousands of pictures contained in 
pictures that indicate as surely as words 
the meanings of the subjects they 
illustrate. There is not a page without a 
picture, and often there are several 
pictures on one page. The crude wood 
engravings so often seen in the early 
dictionaries and, indeed, in some modern 
dictionaries, find no place here. 

As stated above, the explanation of 
technical terms is sometimes helped out 
in an interestingly diagrammatic way, but 

for the most part the illustrations are made 
direct from photographs of actual things, 
or people, or animals, or of people or 
animals performing the actions, or using 
the objects, or in other ways exemplifying 
the words, that are being defined. Nor 
are common nouns which we know are 
the names of living things or things 
without life the only words illustrated. 
The meanings of abstract nouns, as well 
as of adjectives, verbs, and other parts of 
speech, are also brought out by means of 

Most girls and boys and most grown- 
ups, too are interested in nature-study, 
and this fact has been recognized in THE 
Apart from the actual articles on different 
animals and plants, written in far greater 
detail than is usual in dictionaries, there 
are pictures of very many of the species, 
as well as a large number of fascinating 
colour plates, such as that showing the 
various kinds of birds' beaks. 

Throughout, what may be called the 
story interest has been kept in the fore- 
front, for everybody likes a story. Some- 
times the history of a word is full of 
interest, and then the story of the word 
is brought out clearly. Sometimes a word, 
perhaps not very interesting in itself, may 
be the parent of many other words, and 
when this is so, the meaning of the various 
words is often shown in the course of 
some story of days that have passed. 

All the many traps that the English 
language sets for the unwary are pointed 
out in the places where they would 
naturally be looked for. Not everybody 
is always quite sure, for instance, whether 
to use lain or laid, or whether to say 
different from or different to, or consist in or 
consist of. Such difficulties as these are 
made clear. 

valuable features that have never before 
been included in a dictionary. Here we 
need only draw attention to two. One of 
them is the exceptionally instructive 
vocabulary builder, a feature unparalleled 
in the history of dictionary compilation. 
By following this specially devised system 
the merest tyro will be enabled to build 
up a highly serviceable vocabulary with 
the smallest expenditure of mental 

The other, entitled "Literature's 
Golden Story," is an outline of English 
literature from earliest times to the present 
day. This survey of the great English 
authors and their work is carried out in 
great detail, and will prove of inestimable 
value to every student of the English 

In short, with THE WAVERLEY 
PICTORIAL DICTIONARY at our elbow, we 
are enabled not only to understand what 
has been written or spoken, but also to 
write and speak what can be understood. 

HAROLD WHEELER, D.Litt. (Hon.) , F.R.Hist. S., 

Member of the Oxford Historical Society. 

Editor of " The Book of Knowledge," " The Romance of Famous Lives " ; author of " Makers of the 

British Empire," " The Twentieth Century," " The Story of the British Navy," " The French 

Revolution from the Age of Louis XIV to the Coming of Napoleon," " The Story of Napoleon," 

"The Story of Nelson," "The Story of Roberts," "The Story of Kitchener," etc., etc. 

Art Editor 

Art Editor of " Compton's Pictured Encyclopedia," " The Book of Knowledge," " The Romance of 
Famous Lives," " The Outline of History," and other educational publications. 

Associate Editors 

Editor of " The Harmsworth Universal Gazetteer Atlas of the World " ; sectional editor of 
''Harmsworth's Universal Encyclopedia"; contributor to "The Encyclopaedia Britannica " 

(tenth edition), etc. 


Member of the editorial staff and contributor to " The Encyclopaedia Britannica " (eleventh 
edition), "Harmsworth's Universal Encyclopedia," "The Book of Knowledge," "The Romance* 

of Famous Lives," etc. 


Sometime lecturer in English at the University of Kiel, Prussia ; member of the editorial staffs of 

the. "New English Dictionary (Oxford)," "The Encyclopaedia Britannica " (eleventh edition), and 

"Harmsworth's Universal Encyclopedia" ; editor of Spenser's " Faerie Queene" (Book V), Bacon's 

"New Atlantis," Cowley's " Essays and other Prose Works," Swift's "Gulliver's Travels," etc. 

Special Literary Contributors 


Editor of " Pax," the review of the Bene- 
dictine monks of Caldey, since 1922 ; contri- 
butor to Catholic and other publications in 
Great Britain, Ireland, and the United States 
of America. 


Engaged in research work in bacteriology 
and chemistry of food and fuel technology 
for many years ; contributed extensively to the 
daily Press, " The Household Encyclopedia," 
" The Business Encyclopedia," etc. ; author 
" f " Diet for the Million," -*- 




Senior history mistress, Sheffield County 
Secondary School, 1916-17 ; intelligence officer, 
War Office (overseas), 1917-18 ; author of 
thesis, " The Separation of Powers in the 
Modern State " ; contributor to " Pitman's 
Encyclopedia of Economics and Industrial 
Organization." . 

H. CHELLEW, M.A., D.Sc., Ph.D. 

Formerly lecturer at London School of Econo- 
mics ; Political Science lecturer at London 
University, 1918-20 ; for several years adviser 
to the Federation of British Industries on 
industrial education, etc. ; author of " Con- 
centration and the Laws of Mental Efficiency," 
" The Philosophy of History," etc. 


Author of " The Shadow," " Vagabond 
Thoughts in Rhythm," etc. 


Tutor of English, mathematics, and drawing. 
Former resident master of Coleraine Acade- 
mical Institution and Wesley College, Dublin, 
and lecturer at Larne Technical School ; 
literary and dramatic critic to the English 
and Irish Press ; late editor of " The Ulster 


Editor of " Sonnenschein's Best Books," 1907 ; 
for twelve years a member of the editorial 
staff of Messrs. Cassell & Co., Ltd. ; formerly 
editor of " English," a magazine devoted to 
the study of the English language ; author of 
" Historical Allusions," " Introductions to 
London," etc. 

H. C. DENT, B.A. 

Has held various scholastic appointments, 
including masterships at Thetford Grammar 
School, Norfolk, and Brighton, Hove and 
Sussex Grammar School, Sussex ; appointed 
headmaster of The Gateway School, Leicester, 


Former Fellow of St. John's College, Cam- 
bridge ; member of the editorial staff of " The 
Encyclopaedia Britannica" (eleventh edition) 
and " Harmsworth's, Universal Ency- 
clopedia ; " contributor to the Loeb Classical 
Library ; author, editor, and translator of 
numerous works. 

The Waverley Pictorial Dictionary " Who's Who " 

F. H. SHOOSMITH, Ph.D., B.Sc. 

Formerly editor of " The Nature Lover " and 
" The Teachers' Times " ; author of " Sym- 
bolism in Plant Life," " Short Studies in 
Nature and Folklore and Song," " The Stars 
in Nature and Mythology," " The Natural 
History of Some Garden Plants," " Flowers 
of the Prime," " Trips Abroad,"- " Genetic 
Geography," " Good Health," " This Body 
of Mine," " Observation Lessons in Animal 
Life," " Observation Lessons in Plant Life," 


Formerly member of the editorial staff and 
musical critic of "The Spectator"; author of 
" Economics of the -Hour," etc. 


Author of the " Mayfield Conversation Guides," 
" How to Read the Menu," " Ships of the 
British, French, Russian and German Navies," 
" Christmas Sayings," " Sweet Lavender," etc. 


Chief assistant editor of " Harmsworth's 
Universal Encyclopedia," etc. ; managing 
editor of " The Encyclopaedia Britannica " 
(thirteenth edition) ; author of " Germany to 
the Present Day," " Alsace-Lorraine," etc. 


Contributor to " The Children's Newspaper," 
" The Book of Knowledge," " The Romance 
of Famous Lives," etc. ; author of children's 


Editor of " The Scots Year Book," contributor 
to " T. P.'s Weekly," etc. ; author of " Robert 
Burns : Chapters of Self -revelation," " Minor 
Scottish Poets," etc. 

P. H. JOHNSON, B.A., B.Sc., L.C.P., F.R.G.S., 


Assistant in zoology department at University 
College, London ; general biologist on the S.Y. 
" St. George " in the scientific expedition to the 
South Seas, 1924-5 ; joint author of " New 
Outlook Geographies," " The South Seas of 


Teacher of English at a technical college 
and an engineering training college, and Lon- 
don County Council evening class instructor 
in English and history. 


Contributor to " The Burlington Magazine," 
" The Connoisseur," " Apollo," " The Harms- 
worth Universal History " ; author of " His- 
toric Costume," " The Book of Gloves," etc. 

A. J. LIVERSEDGE, Assoc. M. Inst. C.E., F.R.S.A., 


Edited " The Engineering Supplement of 
the ' Daily Mail ' Overseas Edition " ; con- 
tributor to " Harmsworth's Universal 
Encyclopedia," " Chambers's Encyclopaedia," 
" The Times," " The International Journal of 
Commerce," " The Fortnightly Review," etc. 

J. S. REED, F.R.G.S. 

Associated for many years as Corrector of the 
Press with medical and scientific publications ; 
contributor to German technical periodicals ; 
lecturer on nature study topics, including 
botany and entomology. 


Fully qualified teacher and specialist in English 
language ; prolific writer of children's stories, 
and contributor to the leading London 
newspapers and periodicals ; author of " The 
Soul of June Courtney," etc. 


Managing editor of " An Outline of Chris- 
tianity," editor of " The Study Bible " ;. 
author of " An Atlas of the Life of Christ," 
" The Holy City in Bible Times," etc. 

M. W. THOMAS, B.A., Barrister-at-Law 

Senior history master and senior English 
master at Brigg Grammar School, 1922-26 ; 
lecturer to the Selborne Society, 1926 ; author 
of " Old Testament Drama," etc. 


Author of botanical articles, child life studies, 
and nature sketches. 


Editor of " Engineering Wonders of the 
World " ; author of numerous popular tech- 
nical books for young people, including 
" Victories of the Engineer," " Conquering 
the Air," " The Mechanics' Friend," " The 
Romance of Modern Invention," " The 
Romance of Exploration," etc. ; contributor to 
" Harmsworth's Universal Encyclopedia," etc. 


Song composer and contributor of poems, 
short stories, articles, etc., to various maga- 
zines and journals ; writer of many lyrics 
set to music by Coleridge-Taylor and other 
prominent composers. 


Contributor to " The Book of Knowledge." 
" The Romance of Famous Lives," etc. 


Formerly of the editorial staff of the " Times 
of India " and London editor of the " York- 
shire Post"; founder of the "London 
Argus " ; author of numerous works dealing 
with political and social questions, including 
" Parliament Past and Present " (jointly), 
" Great Orations," " Early English Adven- 
turers in the East," "The Romance of Colonisa- 
tion," " Twentieth Century Impressions of 
Ceylon," etc. 


An authority on Canadian life ; author of " A 
Newcomer in Canada," etc. ; contributor to 
" The Book of Knowledge," " The Romance 
of Famous Lives," and of nature articles to- 
the London Press. 

Special Art Contributors 




Ernest G. Cgan 

R. Wood Smith 

Harold Wheeler 
DXitt (Hon ) 

Editor of 

' 'The Book of Knowledge, " 

" The Romance of Famous 

Lives," etc., etc. 

A. Bollaert Atkins 

Alfred B. Cough 

M.A.. Ph.D. 

A. Bain Irvine 

JiP.. F.S.A.Scor. 



J. S. Bainbridge 

J. Peat Young o H. B. Coleman 

H. Chellew M. Bevington 

D.Sc.. Ph.D. M.A. 

F. T. C. Williams 

A. H. Browne ^ E. Penberthy White Arnold Wright 

J] R 

A. J. Li versed ge 

A.M.I.C.E.. F.R.S.A 



The Wonder Book that Makes the Treasure Trove of English your Own. 

the illustrations. 

A LITTLE boy, propped up by pillows 
in the middle of a huge four-poster 
"bed that looked like a room without walls, 
was turning over the pages of a book. He had 
taken it from a table close at hand, where it 
lay open during the day to enjoy the sunshine. 
To its owner the covers were eyelids, which 
were most faithfully closed by him at night 
so that the beloved volume might sleep like 
ordinary mortals. 

The little boy only " read 
The words meant nothing 
at all to him. Indeed, they 
were rather a nuisance, 
because if they had not 
been put in there would 
have been more room for 
picture companions of a 
royal Bengal tiger, a Roman 
warrior, a ship in full sail, 
Saturn and its rings, and 
hundreds of other wonder- 
ful animals, people, and 

The book was a diction- 
ary, and the child was 
myself. The tat te red 
volume is in front of me as 
I write, shabby and old, 
thumbed and broken at 
the corners. The illustrations are crude 
wood engravings, for pictures made direct 
from photographs, such as you have in the 
following pages, were unknown. Perhaps 
I should not have had quite so much respect 
for my literary treasure had I been able to 
read it. I think I should have formed the 
idea that words were dull, lifeless things, 
very useful, but exceedingly uninteresting. 
Their meanings were usually given in long 
and difficult phrases that would have required 
looking up in other books to understand. All 
works of a similar kind were modelled 
on the same pattern, like a row of houses. 
The editors seem to have indulged in a 
game of follow-my-leader. 

The little boy in the big bed could only 
"read" the illustrations in his book. 

Please do not imagine for one moment 
that I am blaming the men who toiled at an 
exceedingly difficult task and doubtless gave 
their best. That would be as foolish as to 
laugh at Columbus because he did not dis- 
cover America by aeroplane. Education had 
not yet come out of its cave to bask in the 
light. Much has altered since then. We 
know more, and we see things differently. 
This is the day of wider knowledge, of ever 
increasing marvels that are not regarded 
r _____ T __^^ r _^ as the special possessions 
I of the few. 

The little boy in the big 
bed lived in a world that 
knew nothing of wireless 
or of tube railways, battle- 
ships then used sails as 
well as steam, submarines 
were weapons of the 
future, horses had not 
given place to motor-cars, 
Edison was still experi- 
menting with electric light, 
balloons were the only form 
of aircraft, the magic- 
lantern was the nearest 
approach to the kmemato- 
graph, and the daily picture 
newspaper was unborn. 
Life moved more slowly then. It was thought 
that man had almost come to the end of 
his discoveries. The North and the South 
Poles were not yet found, but most people 
were quite content that the opposite ends 
of the earth should keep their icy secrets. 
The conquest of the air was regarded as the 
dream of madmen. To-day the word 
" impossible " is used with caution. 

The way has thus been prepared for a 
work such as this. The old type of dictionary 
aimed at being nothing more than a reference 
book, for service when the spelling, pro- 
nunciation, or meaning of a word was in dis- 
pute. It was a kind of court of last resort, 
to be used only in cases of absolute necessity. 


It only aimed at instructing, and no more 
attempted to entertain than did a ready 
reckoner. Just as boys and girls of a previous 
generation were expected to be " seen and 
not heard " at meals, so the dictionary was to 
be consulted but not read. 

a wider horizon. It definitely seeks to 
interest by providing a wealth of delightful 
stories that will help you to appreciate to the 
full the rich treasure trove of the English 
language and to make it your own. To have 
included every word would have reduced 
the definitions or explanations to mere 
skeletons, but an attempt has been made 
to give all words that you are likely to want. 
Certain terms which are mainly of importance 
to specialists have been omitted. 

To make reference easy some words are 
grouped together under a parent word. Thus, 
under "book" you will find quite a large 
family, including book-debt, book-marker, 
book-keeping, bookish, and so on. Therefore 
when you do not see a word in the large 
type that denotes a main entry look for it in 
the smaller type below. 

Some readers seem to : have difficulty in 
knowing where to look for words in a dic- 
tionary, but all you have td remember is that 
they follow each other as do the letters from 
A to Z. Thus under B, words beginning 
with baa are first, followed by those that 
start with bab, bac, and so on. 

If, for example, you wished to find the 
word " print," you would turn first to the 
section of the dictionary 
containing words beginning 
with the letter P. Then 
you would glance quickly 
down the second letter of 
these words until you came 
to " r," then down the words 
beginning with " pr " until 
you came across those having 
" i " as the third letter. 
Continuing in this way, you 
would at last, but much 
more quickly than it takes to 
explain, come to the word 
you require. At the top of 
each page the first and last 
parent words appearing on 
that page are given in capitals 
as a further help. 

After each word you will 
see its pronunciation and its 
definition, followed by the 


word in modern French. Then comes a little 
story or something else interesting about the 
word and the way in which it is used. At 
the end its etymology or history is given, 
together with a list of synonyms words 
with a similar meaning and antonyms 
words with an opposite meaning. 

The following pages will make you familiar 
with many queer, quaint, and curious 
creations. Men and women of every clime, 
our friends and foes of the animal and 
vegetable kingdoms, the starry hosts of the 
night, the myriad marvels of land, sea, and 
air, the things that men have thought, and 
made, and done figure in them. 

If my tattered little literary friend of 
yesterday could come to life it would make 
friends with its big successor and take a 
peep at a tiger as he really is, and not what 
an artist imagined him to be. The old 
dictionary would find not only a Roman 
soldier correctly pictured and ready to tramp 
to the four quarters of the known world, but 
gladiators and amphitheatres, and much else 
that helped to make " the glory that was 
Rome." As for ships, there is scarcely a 
type of vessel that is not shown, and Saturn 
and its rings are revealed as something more 
than a circle surrounded by ovals. 

Yours is a richer heritage, made possible 

by the whole-hearted devotion of an army 

of men and women whose enthusiasm for 

truth changed the unknown into the familiar. 

Small wonder then that we sometimes refer 

to the magic of words. Without them 

progress would cease. . It is 

by words that the pioneers 

set down their knowledge, 

and by words that we reap 

what they sowed. 

Instead of regarding a 
dictionary as a very dull book 
you will find it a cheerful 
companion that will help 
you not only to think, talk, 
and write correctly but to 
pass many pleasurable and 
profitable hours. According 
to the legend, Atlas sup- 
ported the heavens on his 
shoulders and found it a tiring 
you to hold the world in your 
hands and to enjoy its count- 
less interests at your ease. 



Early and Later Attempts to Record our Noble Language 

LESS than four centuries have passed 
since the first English dictionary was 
given to the world. There had been Latin- 
English dictionaries, but Richard Huloet 
was the pioneer writer to compile a book in 
which the meanings of English words were 
explained in the same language. The 
" Abecedarium," as he called it, saw the 
light in 1552, when Edward VI was king. 

In 1623 Henry Cockeram issued in 
London an " English Dictionarie : or An 
Interpreter of Hard English Words." No 
subject was then studied with the painstaking 
care that is now given to every branch of 
learning. It is therefore not surprising that 
Cockeram's explanations sometimes erred, 
for his information was often based on no 
more exact evidence than " it is said." 

Travellers' Fairy Tales 

Little was known about animals of other 
lands. There was neither a Zoo nor a 
Natural History Museum in the London of 
those days, and the so-called facts brought 
home by travellers were often as unreliable 
as fairy stories. The writer describes the 
lynx as " a spotted beast, much like a Wolfe, 
it hath a most perfect sight, in so much as 
it is said, that it can see thorow a wall." 
The hyena is " a subtill beast like a Wolfe, 
having a mane and haire on his body, 
counterfeiting the voyce of a man ; in the 

night it will call shepherds out of their 
houses, and kill them : hee is sometime male, 
and sometimes female." The dolphin is 
" the swiftest fish in the Sea, they are said 
to burie their dead in their sandie graves ; 
it is likewise a friendly fish unto mankinde." 
Arteries, according to Cockeram, are " hollow 
sinewes or veins, wherein the spirits of life 
do walke." 

Another Quaint Definition 

An incubus is quaintly defined as " A 
divell, which some terme the nightmare, 
when one in his sleepe supposeth he hath a 
great weight lying on him, and feeleth him- 
selfe almost strangled, in such sort, that he 
can not turne himselfe, nor sit up, or call for 
helpe, the commons doe think it to be a 
divell, but it is a naturall disease, caused 
by undigested humours in the stomacke, 
which fuming up into their braines, do there 
trouble the animal spirits ; stopping the 
passage into the sinewes, so that the bodie 
can not move." 

The work evidently met with success, 
for a second edition was printed in 1626, 
and was sold by Edmund Weaver " at his 
Shop at the great North dore of Paul's 
Church." This information is in itself a 
little footnote to history. It reminds us 
that before the destruction of old St. Paul's 
(1666) shops were built close to its walls. 

The Sage of Fleet Street in his patron's ante-room. As patiently as possible Dr. Johnson awaits an interview 

with the proud Lord Chesterfield. On completing his Dictionary in 1755 Johnson reminded the Earl that 

seven years had passed " since I was repulsed from your door." 


Noah Webster 

" Glossographia," by Thomas Blount, 
published in 1656, aimed at " interpreting 
all such hard words, whether Hebrew, 
Greek, Latin, Italian, Spanish, French, 
Teutonick, Belgick, British, or Saxon ; as 
are now used in our refined English Tongue." 
The author tells us that he was led to write 
the book after he had " bestowed the waste 
hours of some years in 
reading our best English 
Histories and Authors " 
and been " often gravel- 
led " by terms that he 
had no knowledge of or 
could only partly under- 

In the mouths of 
" Common people " in 
London, he adds, he 
heard such words as "piazza" and " balcone," 
and in the country " Hocktide " and 
" Quintins." 

" Nay, to that pass we are now arrived," 
Blount goes on, " that in London many of 
the Tradesmen have new Dialects ; the 
Cook asks you what dishes you will have in 
your Bill of Fare ; whether Olla's, Bisques, 
Hachies, Omelets, Bouillon's. . Others [will 
furnish you] with . . Coffa, Chocolate, etc." 
Blount's volume was followed in 1658 
by " The New World of English Words : 
or, a General Dictionary," the work of 
Edward Phillips, Milton's nephew. The 
compiler's interest in the language had 
doubtless been aroused by the great poet, 
who had lived with his widowed sister for 
a time and taught her two sons. 

Description of a " Girle " 

The book seems to be a marked improve- 
ment on anything of a similar nature produced 
before. It is not, however, a general 
Dictionary of English, but chiefly of learned, 
technical, obsolete, and foreign words, to- 
gether with proper names. For instance, 
there is no entry for " girl," but " Girle " 
is mentioned as " a term in Hunting, being 
a Roebuck of two years." The volume has a 
curious secondary title-page with portraits 
of English authors, views of Oxford and 
Cambridge, and a picture of a " Scholer " 
of each university. 

" Glossographia Anglicana Nova : or a 
Dictionary, interpreting such Hard Words 
of whatever Language, as are at present 
used in the English Tongue, with their 
Etymologies, Definitions, etc.," was published 

in 1 707 by an author who preferred to remain 
unknown. On the title page it is described 
as " Very useful to all those that desire to 
understand what they read." 

Those were the days when dictionary- 
makers fought wordy wars amongst them- 
selves. An attack on Phillips, entitled " A 
World of Errors discovered in the New World 
of Words, or General English Dictionary, 
had already been published in 1673, and in 
the new book the same author was again 
trounced, together with Blount, who, we are 
told, " went a-simpling (gathering medical 
herbs) in a field twenty years, as himself 
confesses, without discovering many new 
plants ; which had been pardonable in him, 
had he given us the true names, and not been 
mistaken in the description, virtues, and 
qualities of several of the old." As for poor 
Phillips, ne " was no better qualified for 
paving the way to any one of the sciences, 
having neither skill, tools, nor materials." 

Wesley's Little Jo^e 

John Wesley, chiefly honoured as the 
founder of Methodism, must also be included 
in the army of compilers. He describes his 
efforts as " not only the shortest and the 
cheapest, but likewise, by many degrees, the 
most correct which is extant at this day." 
We must not take this too seriously. It 
was the great evangelist's quiet way of poking 
fun at those authors who larded their title- 
pages with fulsome flattery of themselves. 
Although called " The Complete English 
Dictionary," the words given number only 
about 5,000, and the definitions are extremely 
brief. It appeared anonymously in 1753, 
but was stated to be " By a Lover of Good 
English and Common Sense." 

In 1747 Dr. Johnson dedicated the plan 
of his famous. Dictionary 
to the fourth Earl of 
Chesterfield, then Secre- 
tary of State. The 
compiling of such a work, 
he admitted, " is generally 
considered as drudgery 
for the blind, as the proper 
toil of artless industry, 
a book that requires 
neither the light of 
learning nor the activity of genius, but may 
be successfully performed without any 
higher quality than that of bearing burdens 
with dull patience, and beating the track of 
the alphabet with sluggish resolution." 

Archbishop Trench 


The dictionaries of yesterday, if illustrated at all, were adorned with a few outline drawings. Compared 
with the photographic illustrations like those found in this dictionary they appear almost crude. Here 
we show old and new illustrations of a crane and the crater of a volcano. The type of crane shown in the 
old woodcut is still used for lifting small articles, but the companion picture shows a travelling crane that 
lifts a large loaded railway wagon from a siding and dumps its contents where they are wanted. This 
powerful modern machine is capable of raising many tons at a time. 


The long and tiresome task was not com- 
pleted until 1755, whereupon Chesterfield, 
who had taken little or no notice of Johnson 
during the time of his struggles with the 
book, began to betray interest. This was 
not at all to the liking of the Sage of Fleet 
Street, who wrote a long letter to the Earl 
in which occurs a passage that suggested 
a famous picture of the incident : 

" Seven years, my lord, have now passed, 
since I waited in your outward rooms and 
was repulsed from your door ; during which 
time I have been pushing on with my work 
through difficulties of which it is useless to 
complain, and have brought it at last to the 
verge of publication with- 
out one act of assistance, 
one word of encoprage- 
ment, and one smile of 
favour. Such treatment 
I did not expect, for 
I never had a patron 

Nearly 250 years 
separated the publication 
of Huloet's " Abeced- 
arium " in 1552 from 
the first native-born 
American dictionary, 
which did not appear 
until 1 798. The colonists 
had snapped the political 
links that bound them to 
their Motherland, but 
the language they spoke 
was a stronger and more 
elastic strand. Strangely 
enough the author of the 
work was a Samuel 
Johnson, whose more 
famous namesake had 
been laid to rest in 
Westminster Abbey in 
1784. It is pleasing to 
know that although the 
American writer lived in 
Connecticut, the village 
bore the name of Guildford, the county 
town of Surrey. The book itself was pub- 
lished in New Haven. 

A far more ambitious and worthy attempt 
was that of Noah Webster, already the author 
of a widely-used "Spelling Book." He 
spent over twenty years in compiling his 
" American Dictionary of the English 
Language." It included some 12,000 words 
and between 30,000 and 40,000 definitions 

(1) Chinese : tea. (2) Mexican : cocoa. 
(3) Dutch : toy. (4) Spanish . rapier. (5) 
Hebrew: jug. (6) North American Indian : 
moccasin. (7) Persian : orange. (8) Hin- 
dustani : bangle. (9) Portuguese : apricot. 
(10) Australian: boomerang. (11) Syrian: 
damask. (12) Norse : knife. (13) Egyptian : 
papyrus. (14) Latin : jovial (Jove). (15) 
French: castle. (16) Turkish: turquoise. 
(17) Greek : Bible. (18) Saxon : sword. 
(19) West African : canary. 

that had not appeared in any similar work. 
Some of his researches were carried out in 
Paris and -Cambridge, and it was at the latter 
that he brought them to an end in 1825. 
" When I arrived at the last word," he wrote, 
I was seized with a tremor that made it 
difficult to proceed. I, however, summoned 
up strength to finish the word, and then, 
walking about the room, I soon recovered." 
Published in 1828, Webster's two volumes 
were followed in 1846 by Joseph Emerson 
Worcester's " Universal and Critical Dic- 
tionary of the English Language." Then, 
in 1857, Richard Chevenix Trench, author 
of " The Study of Words " and at the time 
Dean of Westminster, 
conceived the idea of 
" A New English Dic- 
tionary on Historical 
Principles," the greatest 
project of the kind ever 

In connexion with this 
invaluable undertaking, 
to which every present- 
day dictionary-maker is 
indebted, a tribute must 
be paid to the devoted 
labours of Sir James 
Murray and Dr. Walter 
William Skeat. As a 
youth the latter began 
to study the local differ- 
ences in speech which we 
call dialect, collecting 
strange words with as 
much enthusiasm as his 
schoolfellows hunted 
butterflies and exchanged 
postage stamps. After- 
wards he became a 
clergyman, but when* he 
was twentyreight years of 
age a serious illness laid 
him aside. 

Defeated but not de- 
jected, Skeat returned 
with good heart to his first love. His 
" Etymological Dictionary of the English 
Language " and his many other works prove 
the enthusiasm of the man who became 
Professor of Anglo-Saxon at Cambridge. Sir 
James Murray edited the " New English 
Dictionary " from 1879 until within a few 
days. of his death in 1915. Its ten mighty 
volumes constitute a monument as enduring 
as imperishable bronze. 



Although Beasts and Birds have no written language they helped Man to make his first ABC 
and thus contributed to his Conquest of the World. 

IF you were asked the question, " WHat 
is the alphabet ? " you would very 
likely answer, " The letters of the 
English language." In making that reply you 
would be partly right only. Actually the 
alphabet consists of the letters of any 
language not English alone which is built 
up in that way, and there are a great 
many of them. 

As you know, the English language has 
an alphabet of 26 letters, but not all languages 
have a similar number. Some have many 
more ; others find it possible to get along 
with fewer. In the Sanskrit alphabet there 
are 49 letters, the Persian has 45, the Slavonic 
40, and the Armenian 36. The alphabet of 
the French has one letter fewer than our 
own, the Greek has 24, and the Latin 23, 
while the Italians manage with only 21 

In China they do not use letters at all, 
except in very rare cases of business. Instead 
they have what appear to us very curious 
characters or signs, called ideograms or 
ideographs. These characters represent 
separate things or ideas, whereas our letters 
express just simple sounds. The Chinese 
language has so many of these signs that 
only a few of the people ever use more than 

a small part of them. The average Chinaman 
seldom makes use of more than 2,000 ideo- 
grams, and anyone employing as many as 
20,000 is regarded as a very learned person. 

The Japanese, like the Chinese, also depend 
very extensively on ideograms, and in 
addition they employ 73 syllabic signs, each 
of which expresses one or more syllables. 
These syllabic signs of themselves, however, 
are far from being sufficient, and in writing 
an ordinary book there would have to be 
included something like 4,000 ideograms. 
There is a tendency in Japan, even more 
developed than in China, to adopt the Latin 
alphabet, as ours is called, for business 

For the origin of the alphabet, the first 
use of letters instead of pictures, we have 
to go back several thousands of years. 
About 3000 B.C. the Egyptians had a kind 
of alphabet mixed in with their hieroglyphics 
or pictures of animals, weapons, trees, and 
other objects which stood for words. But 
it was not in general use, and never took the 
place of their picture writing. 

This Egyptian alphabet has been com- 
pared with the Semitic (Arabic and Hebrew) 
alphabet of about the ninth century B.C., with 
a view of showing that the Semitic grew 


out of the Egyptian, but although there is 
more or less definite likeness between some 
of the letters the connexion has not been 
really proven. Nor have the efforts to trace 
the origin of the Semitic alphabet to the 
cuneiform, or wedge-shaped, writing of 
Babylonia been any more successful. 

As a result of discoveries made by him 
in Crete, Sir Arthur Evans has declared 
that the Phoenicians cannot be regarded as 
the inventors of the alphabet. He advances 
the view that the people of Crete had an 
alphabet which the Philistines carried from 
that Mediterranean 
island into Palestine. 
It was from the 
Philistines, he con- 
tends, that the Phoe- 
nicians acquired the 
alphabet, and that it 
did not come to them 
by the way of the 
Egyptians. Although 
it is possible that this 
may have been the 
true origin, it is not at 
all certain, and it is, 
therefore, still per- 
missible to suppose 
that the Semitic was 
the first true alphabet. 

The Semitic alpha- 
bet, which consisted 
of 22 letters, was 
carried into Greece by 
the fearless sea-going 
traders of Phoenicia, a 
coastal land at the far 
east of the Mediterra- 
nean. The Semites 
never wrote their 
vowels, but used a, e, o as aspirates, like our 
h, and i and u for the consonants y and u). 
The Greeks, however, needing written vowels, 
adopted these five letters for this purpose. 
They also introduced the letter /, which they 
sounded like w, but soon dropped it. 

Somewhere about the sixth century B.C. 
the Greek alphabet found its way into Italy, 
where it became the medium of the classical 
literature of Rome. It then contained 26 
letters, but no use could be found for certain 
of them and the number was reduced to 21, 
or three fewer than in the Greek alphabet 
as finally formed. 

It was this alphabet the Latin alphabet 
which was first used in Britain but before 

Tortoise Chariot Child Elephant 
altered to 

Kwei Chi Tsz Sianq 


Vase Hill 

altered to 

it arrived it had undergone further changes, 
so that by the time we adopted it it consisted 
of 23 letters. These proved scarcely suffi- 
cient for our needs, and so the present 
alphabet was completed by adding w, 
previously expressed by vv; u, whose duty 
as well as its own was formerly performed 
by v; and j, for which i had hitherto served. 
There have been many different alphabets 
since the days of the Phoenicians, probably 
as many as four hundred, but all were de- 
veloped from the Semitic combination of 
letters. The majority of these no longer 
exist, although about 
fifty still survive. None 
can be regarded as 
perfect, because the 
perfect alphabet would 
need to have a 
separate letter for 
every sound, and any 
one sound should not 
be expressible by more 
than one letter. 

In this respect all 
alphabets fail to 
satisfy. The English 
language, for e x - 
ample, has 42 sounds, 
but the alphabet pro- 
vides us with only 26 
letters with which to 
expression t o 
Thus we often 
to use two 
in uttering 
sounds, as in 




How pictures became words in China. Under each 
little drawing is the word into which it grew. 


the case of ch in church, 
chosen, champion, etc., 
and th in thank, think, 
thunder, etc. 
Then all the vowels have several different 
sounds. In the words bar, bat, bate, ball, 
bare, the vowel a is sounded differently in 
each case, and in a dictionary the varying 
sounds have to be shown by accents. In 
the words cell, fern, be, the vowel e is sounded 
differently in each case, and it is the same 
with the other vowels. These examples 
indicate clearly the failure of our alphabet 
to express all sounds by the use of its letters 

On the other hand, the English alphabet 
contains some letters that could very well 
have been omitted. The letter c is one of 
them, because k or s could be used instead, 
according to the sound required : others 


are q and x, their respective sounds being 
just as well expressed by k and k s > z, or z. 

With all its faults, the alphabet is far more 
serviceable in speech and writing than the 
pictures from which it developed. Not 
only does it enable us to write with far greater 
speed, but it also rules out the possibility of 
misunderstanding to which picture writing 
is liable. 

Just imagine what a vast and wonderfully 
expressive language we have been able to 
build up out of these 26 letters that we call 
our alphabet. Perhaps s 
it will be easier to i 
realize this when it is $ 
stated that in an j/r 
ordinary standard die- j; 
tionary there are from I 
350,000 to 500,000 
words, all of them cap- 
able of being formed 
by arranging in the 
desired order the 
necessary letters taken 
Irom our ABC. 

It is fortunate, per- 
haps, that not one 
single living person is 
ever called upon to 
make use of the whole 
of this vast collection 
of English words, or 
even one-tenth o f 
them. This would be 
a formidable under- 
taking for the most 
learned. Even a great 
writer like Shakespeare | 

Called to his Service A document of papyrus showing the hieroglyphic or 
less than 25,000 dif- Picture-writing of the ancient Egyptians. 

ferent words, nearly a fifth of which he found 
it necessary to use once only. But the for- 
mation of 25,000 or 100,000 or 500,000 
words by means of our extremely simple 
and serviceable collection of letters would 
be a feat easy indeed compared with that 
of forming them by the Chinese method. 
In view of the great accuracy of hand 
and power of intellect that would be required 
to accomplish such a definite amount of 
literary work in Chinese, including as it 
would thousands of distinct characters, and 
many more thousands of groups of signs, 
it is not difficult to appreciate that there are 
no dictionaries of Chinese words to compare 
in the number of their entries with the chief 
work, of the kind in the English language. 

In England, as in other countries that 
possess an alphabet, most people are able to 
write a certain number of words, sufficient 
to be able to make themselves understood 
by those to whom they write. In countries 
which do not possess the advantage of an 
alphabet, and whose people depend upon 
pictures and signs to express their thoughts 
on paper, the art of writing is limited, the 
accomplishment being the proud possession 
of a select few. 

In comparison, then, we can claim to have 
a much easier method 
of forming words. But 
even so it is not so 
simple that an alterna- 
tive method has not 
been suggested. This 
is what is called the 
phonetic system of 
spelling, the system by 
which all words are 
spelt exactly as they 
are pronounced. Very 
many words in the 
English language are, 
of course, already spelt 
exactly as they are 
sounded, but very 
many are not. 

There are arguments 
both for and against 
spelling by sound> and 
one of the chief argu- 
ments against it is the 
fact that the clue often 
given to the etymology 
or history of a word 
by its spelling would 
be lost were the 
phonetic method adopted. 

Whatever the effect of such a drastic 
change, whether advantage would accrue or 
not and on this point there is wide differ- 
ence of opinion it is certain that the English 
alphabet, which has remained unaltered for 
so many years, would be obliged to part 
company with three of its faithful servants. 
There would be no work left for c, q, and x 
to do ; their reason for existence would 
have ceased. 

Not the least interesting fact connected 
with the alphabet is the story of the word 
itself, which is formed by two letters, alpha 
and beta, the a and b of the ancient Greeks 
who gave so much thought and beauty to 
the world. 


A MOST of you know that certain 
birds have helped men to write by 
providing the quills that were 
used as pens before the steel nib 
was invented ; but do you know that some 
of the members of the bird kingdom 
actually helped in making the letters that 
were later written with their quills ? 

4 A 

One of the letters that originally took 
the shape of a bird is the vowel a, the first 
letter of the English alphabet and of many 
others. The Egyptians adopted a bird to 
represent it, and their choice fell upon the 
lordly eagle, drawn like the one shown on 
this page (fig. 1). Its appearance was 
changed when it came to be made in the 
running hand of the Egyptian scribes, and 
fig. 2 shows the form the letter then assumed 
in hieratic, or sacred, writing. 

This the Phoenicians found difficult to 
carve in stone, so they altered it to what is 
known as a plane rectilineal angle, with a 
line through it (fig. 3). When the Greeks 
received the alphabet from the Phoenicians 
they more or less retained its shape, but 
placed it upon its feet. They varied its 
appearance, the cross-bar sometimes running 
from the base of the left stroke to a higher 
position on the right stroke, at other times in 
exactly the opposite way. At length it came 
to look more like our own A (fig. 4), which 
form they finally adopted. 

BTnE letter b is another that began 
its career as a bird, the Egyptians' 
choice in this case being the crane 
(fig. 1). In sacred writing, however, 
it had an entirely different appearance, 
looking rather like a childish effort at pro- 
ducing the figure 5 or the capital letter S 
(fig. 2). 

A simpler form adopted later by the 
Egyptians bore a certain resemblance to 
the outline of a tent (fig. 3), so when the 
Phoenicians took it into their alphabet they 
named it betfi (Greek beln\ which means 
" house." Some forms of the letter actually 

looked more like the outline of a two-roomed 
house, one room above the other, than that 
of a tent. 

The early Greeks fashioned the letter 
like fg. 4 above, and in later davs turned 
it about so that it bore a greater likeness to 
the letter as it at last came to be formed 
in the Latin alphabet, which is, of course, 
our own capital B. Although in rrost 
European alphabets b is the second letter, 
in others, especially Eastern, it takes various 
positions. In Sanskrit it is the twenty-third 
of the consonants, and in Armenian it is 
placed twenty-sixth in an alphabet of thirty- 
six letters. 

C REFERRING to the third letter in our 
alphabet, Ben Jonson, the famous 
English poet and dramatist, said : 
" It might well have been spared, 
for it has no peculiar sound." 

This is quite true, for its place could very 
well be taken by in words where a, o, or u 
is the next letter or where any other consonant 
than h comes next to it, and s would serve the 
purpose of c whenever e, i, or y is the following 
letter. Yet c is a very busy letter, as you 
will find if you turn to the section of this 
dictionary where words beginning with it 
are collected. 


The Egyptians must have thought highly 
of c since they pictured it in a royal way 
as a throne (fig. 1). In their sacred writings 
they drew it something like a humped camel 
lying down (fig. 2), because their name 
for it- was gimel, which means camel. The 
Phoenicians also called it gimel, which 
evidently suggested the Greek name gamma, 
and they wrote it very much like a seven 
(fig. 3). This form did not quite meet with 
the approval of the Greeks, who decided 
to turn it about, after altering it slightly 
(fig. 4). The Romans made a further change, 
preferring a circular symbol to an angular 
one, so they rounded it out, and gave it the 
familiar shape it has now. 

Very early in its history c had the hard 
sound of . That is why we sometimes see 
the proper names Caius and Cnaeus spelt 
Gams and Gnaeus. The Romans also gave 
it the sound of , which it had when it first 
arrived in England. 


DTHE letter d has not had quite such 
an exciting history as most of its 
companions, and has managed to 
retain something of its earliest shape 
of a hand, which was given to it by the 
Egyptians (fig. 1). In their sacred writings 
it looked not unlike our 
script letter s lying face 
downwards (fig. 2). 

The Phoenicians, who 
called it daleth, which means 
" door," fashioned it like 
an unfinished four (fig. 3), 
and later on, deciding that 
the tail was unnecessary, 
lopped it off. It is difficult 
to see any likeness to a door 
in this figure, either with or 
without the tail, but then it 
must be remembered that 
the " houses " of the Phoe- 
nicians were usually tents 
and their " doors " the 
coverings to the triangular 
openings of these portable dwellings. 

The Greeks named the letter delta, and 
used a similar triangular symbol (fig. 4). 
This form was kept for quite a long while, 
although it did not always stand flat on its 
base, but was given various positions, some- 
times being turned upside down, at others 
having the apex pointing to the right. 

a somewhat different way, the picture they 
used being a window (fig. 2). The Phoe- 
nicians named it he, which is pronounced he 
and means " window." Although there is 
a certain resemblance to that object, it really 
looks more like the prongs of a garden rake. 
After a time the Phoe- 
nicians, who wrote from 
right to left, found it 
easier to form it with the 
prongs facing the way their 
writing travelled, that is 
towards the left, and so 
they made it look like a 
turned-about letter F (fig. 3), 
with an added crosspiece. 
When the Greeks 
adopted the Phoenician 
alphabet they at first used 
the e that had satisfied 
this ancient Semitic people. 
Later they found it more 
convenient to turn it in 

A royal scribe of Egypt 3000 years ago. fa oppos j te direction (fig. 

4), since they wrote from left to right just 
as we do. 

The Greeks also decided to use it as a 
vowel, and before it passed into the Latin 
alphabet it had come to stand upright and 
look like our own E (fig. 5). 

A A 


It was while in the latter position that 
it first received its present shape, and the 
change came about in this way. The Romans 
tried to make the two right-hand sides of the 
triangle in one stroke, with the result that they 
made them look more like a half-circle. 
This was certainly a quicker and easier way, 
and thus d came to get its present shape. 

EHAVE you ever noticed the curious 
maze-like pattern on the border of 
some stair linoleums ? It is called 
the key-board pattern, and is very 
old. Well, when the Egyptians wanted a 
picture to represent the letter e they took 
a small section of this design (fig. 1). It 
was called " maeander," and was simply 
intended as the sign of a breathing. 

About 3000 B.C. the Egyptians in their 
sacred writings began to show the letter in 

F!N the picture-writing of the 
Egyptians, the letter / took the 
form of the cerastes (fig. 1, p. xii), 
a " horned asp." When it came to 
be written in the sacred books of the 
Egyptians its form and position were altered, 
the head with the two horns being upper- 
most and turned to the right (fig. 2). 

The Hebrews and the Phoenicians changed 
it into a simpler form, an upright stroke 
with a small curved piece at the top (fig. 3). 
This in turn came to be written with the 
curved piece at the left hand side of the 
upright (fig. 4). The Phoenicians called 
this vau or waia, meaning hook or peg, to 
which it certainly bore a resemblance. 

The early Greeks wrote it like a Y (fig. 5), 
and later on they gave it the name of digamma, 
meaning " two gammas," because they 
thought that it looked like two of their 
gammas (letter c). 


It was first called " ef " by the Romans, 
who also changed the form of the letter to 
that which we now use, a form which has a 
greater likeness to two gammas, one above 


the other, than the Greek form. Before 
the Romans gave it the sound which it has 
to-day, it was sounded like our w, and some- 
times like v. Its place in the English 
language is sometimes taken by ph, a digraph, 
or two letters with only one sound, and that 
the same, as in words like elephant, pharmacy, 
diphthong, and in digraph itself. The digraph 
ph comes from the Greek phi (fig. 6). 

GTHIS letter might be described as 
one of the juniors of the alphabet ; 
certainly it is quite young compared 
with the majority of the other 
members of the family. The Egyptians had 
no use for the letter, nor had the Phoenicians, 
and when the Greeks took over the alphabet 
from this Eastern Mediterranean race they, 
too, found no occasion to introduce a g 
into it. 

It was the Romans who first realized the 
need of such a letter to express certain 
sounds, but even they were a very long while 
hundreds of years before they saw the 
use to which it could be 
put. Previously they had 
been satisfied to use c to 
express both its own sound 
and that of g, but this so 
often led to difficulties, as 
you can imagine, that they 
decided to give the c a 
slightly different appear- 
ance when it was required to indicate the 
sound of g. It is on account of its coming 
late into the Latin alphabet that we often 
find c used for g in Latin inscriptions. 
Examples of this are given in the history 
of the letter c. 

The first Roman to use the changed form 
is said to have been Spurius Carvilius Ruga, 
at least that is what Plutarch, the famous 
Greek writer, has told us. He wrote his 
name RVGA the V was still used for U on 
stone tablets as it was easier to carve 
instead of RVCA. At first it was not 
always possible to say which was a c and 
which a g, because the end of the g was 

just turned straight up, but this difficulty 
was easily overcome by placing a bar at the 
top of the upward stroke (fig. 2). 

HTHE letter h seems to have caused 
a certain amount of trouble through- 
out most of its existence. In some 
of our words it has the value of an 
aspirate, or a strong breathing, but in others 
it prefers to be ignored. It is therefore quite 
possible to understand how easy it is for 
uneducated people to make mistakes in 
pronouncing words that have it for their 
initial letter. 

In their picture-writing the Egyptians 
used to represent it as a sieve (fig. 1), but 
in their sacred writings they gave it quite 
a different appearance (fig. 2). From this 
it came to look rather like a bent two-rung 
ladder (fig. 3), and to this symbol the 
Phoenicians gave the name of " fence.' 
When it was taken over by the early Greeks 
they decided to straighten it out, change the 
position of the bars, and at the same time 


add another bar, which made their h appear 
like two small oblong figures placed one upon 
the other (fig. 4). This shape they retained 
for many years. Finally they hit upon the 
idea of leaving out the top and bottom bars 
and giving the letter the form in which it 
passed into the Latin alphabet and which is 
so familiar to us (fig. 5). 

The Hebrews and the Phoenicians called 
it cheth, which was a guttural that is a 
letter sounded chieHy by the throat. Its 
sound was something like that of ch 
in the Scottish word loch (pronounced lokh). 
The early Greeks made it into a breathing 
sound like our h, but later they used it also 
for eta, the long e. Nowadays even h has 
different sounds in different Latin alphabets, 
in some of which it is a consonant and in 
others an aspiration, or breathing. 

I ALTHOUGH a most important letter 
its sound is evident more often in the 
English language than any other, and 
its actual appearances are only ex- 
ceeded by the letter e our f has never grown 
up. Right from its birth as the parallels 
(fig. 1 , p. xiii) in Egyptian picture-writing to its 
entry into the English alphabet it has occupied 
less space than any of its companions. 


The form given to it in Egyptian sacred 
writings (fig. 2) was very different from the 
pictograph from which it developed, and, 
if anything, bore a greater resemblance to 
the sign adopted by the Phoenicians (fig. 3), 
who gave it the name of yod. It probably 
had the bar at the 
foot added so that it 
should not be mis- 
taken for their k (kof>h) 
when carelessly writ- 
ten. Yod meant hand, 
and if we strain our 
imagination rather | 
violently it is possible 
to believe that the 
sign has some likeness 
to a hand and wrist. 

The Hebrews made 
it look a very tiny 
letter (fig. 4), so little 
in fact that its name 
came to be used for 
anything that was 
small. There is a 
word in our own language which has come 
from the Phoenician name of yod. The 
word is jot, and it means a particle or tittle, 
that is, something very small indeed. 

Another English word with a similar mean- 
ing which can be traced to yod is iota. This 
was the name which the Greeks gave to the 
letter i. The early Greeks wrote it as a 
zig-zag shape (fig. 5), but this looked rather 
like their sigma, which became our letter s, 

How the Babylonians wrc 
years before the 

n brick about 
birth of Christ. 


so they rounded off the angles and later on 
straightened it out into the single-line 
upright figure that we write so easily (fig. 6). 
Although we have always used it as a vowel, 
the letter i has also led the life of a consonant 
in certain Latin words. 

J!F you refer to a dictionary that was 
printed about three hundred years ago 
you will not be able to find any words 
beginning with the letter j unless you 
have been let into the secret. If you have 
already had the mystery explained, then, of 
course, you will look for such words under i, 
because until about the seventeenth century 
words having i or j as their initial letter 
were always placed together. 

Originally i and j were forms of the 
same letter, and it was not until some time 
in the fifteenth century that it was realized 
how convenient it would be to make the 
consonant look unlike the vowel by adding 
a tail to it ; and that is the simple way in 
which cur j came into 

This new letter was 
40] used for the initial of 
words because it was 
rather more orna- 
mental, and so it came 
s to be a consonant 
S while i continued as 
| the vowel. Its original 
_^ sound was that of the 
^Jjjpjfi'Jj letter y, which it still 
Jrf'^fgSaf; ;| has in the German 
1 alphabet, but later it 
$ ' acquired the value, or 
1 sound, of our g in 
BHi words like gem, gesture, 
2,300 gentleman, that is, the 

soft sound of g. 
Now that you know the story of this 
letter, you will quite understand that 
lupiter, lustinus, and other names that 
appear in Roman inscriptions and on Roman 
medals, are not wrongly spelt, but that the 
initial letter is really a J and not an I. Some- 
times on maps with index squares you will 
notice the letters go from I to K ; this is 
not because map makers have not got a J in 
their alphabet, but just to avoid mistakes 
arising, for after all / and J are still rather 
like twins. 

Kip you were asked to pick out what 
stood for our letter k in the 
Egyptian picture alphabet, you 
would have to search for a picture 
that was intended to represent a bowl 
(fig. 1, p. xiv). 

It did not look much like a bowl when 
it came to be written instead of drawn 
(fig. 2), and as a matter of fact it bears a 
greater resemblance to the palm of a hand, 
which is the meaning of the name kaph 
that was given to it by the Phoenicians. 
This likeness can be better appreciated if you 
point the first finger and the thumb of the 
right-hand towards the left, with the tips 

The change made by the Phoenicians 
when they acquired the letter gave it an 
appearance more like the letter as we know 


it now (fig. 3), except that the angular 
strokes were on the opposite side. When 
it passed into the Greek alphabet the new 
owners turned it about and slightly altered 
its form, giving it the name of k a PP a an d 
almost the exact appearance of the Latin 
letter which at length came into our 
alphabet (fig. 4). 


But before this happened the letter was 
actually allowed to drop almost entirely 
out of the Latin alphabet, the Romans using 
c instead to express the sound of , and they 
only used the latter as an abbreviation in 
certain circumstances. 

In very early times our own alphabet 
had no letter , but to avoid confusion, when 
c was given the sibilant, or soft, sound of s 
in words like cease and century, it was found 
necessary to introduce for the hard sound 
that c still has in many words. 

LNoNE of the early Egyptians could 
ever have foreseen that their picture 
of a lioness (fig. 1) would come 
to be the letter / of the English and 
other Latin alphabets. At a later date, 
in Egyptian manuscripts, it looked far less 
like a lioness (fig. 2) than the earlier picto- 
graph, and still later it was given another 
shape (fig. 3), which can easily be imagined 
to look like a bird of some sort in flight. 
This change was the first step towards taking 
the shape of our own letter /. 

It was given the name of lamed, meaning 
" ox-goad," by the Phoenicians, from its 
likeness to that imple- 
ment. Some authorities 
think lamed was intended 
for a spit or a prong on 
which meat is roasted, 
and others that it repre- 
sented a cudgel. What- 
ever it actually stood for, 


the Phoenician symbol (fig. 4) was much 
more like our letter / than that of the 
Greeks, who made it look like an upturned 
V (fig. 5), or a carat or insertion sign. 
They called it lambda. In Phoenician manu- 
scripts that have been preserved their letter 
(fig. 4) is reversed, and the reason given for 
this is that it was easier to write in the right- 
to-left manner which was the custom of this 
Semitic race. 

In the early Latin alphabet it again 
appeared something like the Phoenician 
letter, but about 50 years before the Christian 
era the Romans gave it an appearance that 
was almost the same as the form it has in our 
own alphabet. 


THE letter m, the thirteenth in the 
English and Latin alphabets, can 
claim to bear some resemblance 
to the picture used by the early 
Egyptians about sixty centuries ago. They 
used to draw an owl with the face pointing 
towards the left (fig. 1) 
when they wanted to 
make the letter. In this 
position the head rather 
had the appearance of 
our capital M, in which 
you can almost see the 
face of an owl. 

In the papyrus writings of four to five 
thousand years ago, it looked rather like a 
figure three (fig. 2), and showed a tendency 
to develop towards our present letter. 
This development is more noticeable in the 
symbol of the Phoenicians (fig. 3), who made 
it a more angular figure, for the reason that 
they found it much easier to chisel on stone 
than the rounded form which came to them 
from the Egyptians. 

The early Greeks used a form very much 
the same in design (fig. 4), and in the early 
Latin alphabet of about 800 B.C. a similar 
figure, only with the long stroke on the left, 
did duty. It is quite easy to realize how this 
shape, by gradual change, came at length 
to assume that now given to the letter in our 
own alphabet. This form, as already stated, 
bears a certain likeness to the original picture 
letter of the Egyptians, and it is curious to 
note that in other alphabets the owl shape 
has not altogether been lost to sight, an 
ear, the beak, or some other portion of the 
bird being apparent. 

NONE of the hieroglyphics of the 
ancient Egyptians was something like 
the edge of a saw. It was called 
the "water-line" (fig. I/ p. xv), 
and stood for the letter n, the fourteenth 
in our own alphabet. The Egyptian scribes 
wrote it quite differently in their papyri 
(fig. 2), although it bore some small likeness 
to the earlier " water-line." 

When the letter was taken over by the 
Hebrews and the Phoenicians, who called 


The quaint picture-writing of the Ojibbeway tribe of Red Indians. It is cut on a wooden tablet and 
coloured. From Ratzel's " History of Mankind." 

it nun, meaning a fish, they gave it rather 
the appearance of our figure seven (fig. 3), 
the short stroke at the top very likely being 
added so that it should not be confused 
with their gimel, which, you will remember, 
is almost exactly like our seventh unit. 
The Egyptian written letter (fig. 2) is, if 
anything, more like a fish than the Phoe- 
nician, which has rather the appearance of a 
hook used in catching the dwellers in the sea. 
The early Greeks, when the Phoenician 
alphabet was acquired by them, made little 
alteration in the letter n ; 
they retained the shape, 
but straightened it up 
(fig. 4), and when it 
passed into the early Latin 
alphabet, about eight 
centuries before the 
Christian era, it was 
turned round the other way, the short 
upward stroke being made into an upright. 
About 50 B.C. the Romans used to shape 
it very much like our own letter (fig. 5), a 
form it received some 1500 years later. 

O THERE is little doubt that the 
Egyptians managed to do without a 
sign for o. In fact it is generally 
agreed that they did not even make 
use of a sound like that given to the letter 

ay in of the Phoenicians. This Eastern 
Mediterranean people gave it the appearance 
of our capital turned on its side (fig. 1), 
and they used this form to indicate an eye, 
which is the meaning of the word ayin. 
A later form was smaller and rather more 
circular, but not so regular in shape (fig. 2). 

Although the letter o has generally retained 
a more or less rounded form in passing from 
one alphabet to another, it has, nevertheless, 
in the course of its history assumed a variety 
of shapes. Sometimes we may see it looking 
like the ace of diamonds 
on a playing-card, at 
others it has become 
almost square, while it 
has often taken an upright 
oval form. 

The Greeks, however, 
took it over almost as it 
appeared in the Phoenician alphabet, but 
in their alphabet the guttural ayin became 
the vowel omicron (little o), and still remained 
a very small letter. In the course of time it 
came to have a rival, the Greeks introducing 
another letter o which is known as omega or 
great o (fig. 3). This, the twenty-fourth 
and last in the Greek alphabet, had the sound 
of our long o, as omicron had the value of our 
short o. The English o is a direct descendant 
of the Greek and Latin letter (fig. 4). 


PWHEN you look at a window or a door 
which has the light shut out by 
a piece of board, are you ever 
reminded of the picture letters of 
the early Egyptians ? Probably not, because 
you very likely do not know that a shutter 
(fig. 1) represented one of their letters P. 
They also used the " flying-bird," the figure 
of a bird with wings spread, but not nearly 
so often. 

In their sacred writings the Egyptians 
employed an entirely different symbol 
(fig. 2) and also one similar in shape but 
more like the form that was adopted by the 
Phoenicians (fig. 3). In the Semitic 
alphabet of this people, the letter was given 
the name of f>e, which means mouth, and 
it is easy to believe that the written letter 
of the Egyptians, which had three prong-like 
bars or teeth, gave them the idea for its 
name. They did not include the teeth in 
writing their letter, which bears some like- 
ness to two other letters of their alphabet, 
gimel and nun, the an- 
cestors of our c and n. 

When p was taken over 
by the Greeks, they 
changed its appearance 
after a while by making 
the horizontal stroke point 
to the right, adding to it 
a short downward bar, and squaring up 
the sign generally (fig. 4). The downward 
bar was later given the same length as the 
left-hand vertical stroke, so that the Greek 
pi came to appear like a square with the 
base cut away (fig. 6). These two forms 
passed into the Latin alphabet, where they 
were rounded out, at first looking like our 
letter J turned upside down (fig. 5) and then 
taking the form in which it came into the 
English alphabet. 

QA LOT of discussion has been caused 
by the letter q since it was first 
used by the Egyptians some six or 
seven thousand years ago. They 
used to draw an outline that was possibly 
meant to be a knee (fig. 1 ), or an angle, but in 
their papyri they gave it a far different 
shape, somewhat like a childish attempt 
to draw a man's bowler hat (fig. 2). 

It was the form (fig. 3) chosen by the 
Phoenicians they called it qoph which has 
given rise to all the discussion. It has been 
suggested that this circular form with the 
vertical line passing through it and downwards 

was intended to be an ape, the line being the 
tail. It is very hard to see any likeness 
to an ape, and therefore it is easier to believe 
that it may have stood for an aperture, 
or opening, such as the eye in a needle 
through which the cotton is threaded. But 
most people who have studied the problem 
are of the opinion that it was meant to 


9 Q 

represent a knot, and we can, without much 
effort, imagine it to look like a looped piece 
of string. It was sounded very much like 
kaph, the Phoenician ^, and it is just possible 
that they both originated from the same 

As a letter, kpppo. (fig. 4), as it was called, was 
allowed to pass out of the Greek alphabet, 
and the sign was retained in Greece as a 
numeral only, its value being 90. In the 
Latin alphabet, however, it found a place, 
and came to acquire the shape that we have 
so long been accustomed to. 

R AMONG the pictures that formed the 
alphabet of the Egyptians was one 
that was intended to represent a 
mouth (fig. 1). This was the letter 
r. About 1500 or 2000 years later, when the 
scribes came to write it in a running hand, 
it had assumed an entirely different form 
(fig. 2). The Phoenicians, when they took 
it into their alphabet, apparently saw in it a 
likeness to a head, for that is what is meant 
by res/i, the name they gave it. They found 
its rounded shape difficult to cut in stone, 
so they gave it an angular appearance (fig. 3), 
and thus it lost something of its supposed 
resemblance to a head supported by the 

There was a time when R looked exactly 
like our P ; that was after it had passed 

into the Greek alphabet. At first the 
Greeks used a similar symbol to that of the 
Phoenicians, only facing the opposite way 
(fig. 4), but later they rounded it out so 
that it became like our P (fig. 5). It is 
curious that the Greeks, after adding a tail 
to this form and thus making it look more 
like the English letter, should have changed 


On page xv is a specimen of the picture-writing of a Red Indian tribe, and here we see a native outside 
his wigwam " drawing words " on the skin of an animal. 

back again to the earlier P form, which they 
have continued to use for more than 2000 

The English alphabet was taken from the 
Latin, and as the Romans remained loyal 
to the R shape in its rounded form we also 
came to write it in the same way. If we had 
copied our ABC from the Greeks we should 
have a letter R without a tail, and then of 
course our P would have had a different 
appearance, just like a square with the bottom 
stroke missing. 

SSoME people, especially the South 
Sea islanders, find the letter s as 
difficult to pronounce as the early 
Egyptians must have found it to draw. 
They used to depict what was known to them 
as the " inundated garden " (fig. 1), that is a 
garden under water. Those tall and short 
uprights are supposed to be papyrus or lotus 
plants, which have sprung up from the well- 
watered soil of the garden. The Egyptian 
scribes made use of an entirely different 
form (fig. 2), which was known to the 
Phoenicians as " teeth," or shin as they used 
to call it. The lower teeth are represented in 
this symbol, and below them are the chin 
and beard, or at least so we are given to under- 

If you pay close attention to the two 
characters it is quite possible to see how 
the Phoenicians got their form (fig. 3) from 
the written sign of the Egyptians. The 

Phoenician letter, which looks like our W 
pushed out of shape, is similar to the " teeth " 
portion of the Egyptian letter, and this they 
evidently kept, doing away with the chin and 
the beard. 

When the Greeks came into possession of 
the Phoenician alphabet, among the other 
alterations they made was the turning of the 
s on to its side, and thus making it like 
our E (fig. 4), without the middle bar and 

with its side dented in. They called it sigma. 
Later in its life the bottom stroke was done 
away with, and it took the shape that our S 
would have if it were formed in an angular 
way. Then, at length, the Romans gave it 
a rounded form, just like it has to-day. 

T REGARDING some of the picture letters 
of the Egyptians there is difference of 
opinion as to what they were intended 
to represent. The letter t is one of 
them. Some authorities believe the form 
they used (fig. 1 , p. xviii) was intended for a 
lasso or noose, and others, who are probably 
correct, that it was meant to represent the 
tongue. In their running hand the Egyptian 
scribes wrote it differently, something like an 
outline of our small letter h (fig. 2), but a 


similarity can yet be seen to the original 

Passing into the alphabet of the Phoenicians, 
who called it tan. they wrote it like a plus 
or a multiplication sign (fig. 3). No doubt you 
have noticed how sheep have a mark branded 
on them to show their ownership. Well, 
the Hebrews and the Phoenicians also branded 
their animals, and they used for the purpose 

X + 


these two cross signs. It is probably one or 
other of these signs which is referred to in 
Ezekiel ix, 4. It is easy to see ho\\ the Greeks 
get their letter t (fig. 4) they simply put the 
horizontal piece of the cross at the top of the 
upright stroke, and gave it iust about the 
shape we use ourselves. 

By the way, there is usually something 
peculiar about our small (or minuscule) t. 
Just look at the left side of the cross-bar and 
you will see that it is " blotted." This is a 
survival of the way in which it was originally 
formed, by making the cross-bar first and 
then without removing the pen, the vertical 
stroke. Now look at the italic small t (this 
one will do). The blot is missing that is 
because the cross-bar was never made first. 

UYou remember that we got our 
letter /, after various changes from 
cerastes (fig. 1), the " horned asp " 
of the picture alphabet of the 
Egyptians. Well, four other letters have been 
obtained from that symbol. They are u, 
v, w, and \). The Egyptians had no use for 
any of these letters, nor had the Phoenicians, 
while it was not until the lapse of hundreds 
of years after acquiring the alphabet from the 

*^ V 

' 2 





Phoenicians that the Greeks realised there 
was a need for some of them. 

You will recall how i and came to have 
separate values (see J), when the latter was 
placed at the beginning of words and r 
always given a medial, or an inside position. 
This is just what happened in the case of 
u and v. At first the Greeks always made u 
to look like v (fig. 2), because it was easier 
to cut on stone. In classic Greek, about 
500 B.C., upsilon, as u was named, had some- 

what the appearance of our small r (fig. 3), 
while the classic Roman letter of 50 B.C. 
was like a fancy capital v (fig. 4) in our own 
alphabet. Then some time later, in the Latin 
alphabet, the two letters began to show signs 
of becoming different in form. At length, 
in the tenth century u took an inside place 
leaving v to become an initial or first letter 
of a word, which is exactly what happened 
with t and 7 about 500 years later still. Since 
the position of vowels is generally within the 
word rather than at the beginning, u came to 
have a vowel value, and v that of a consonant. 

VlN the story of the letter; you were 
told why words beginning with 
that letter and i are frequently 
found together in dictionaries 
printed three or more hundred years ago. If 
you were to refer to a dictionary of that period 
you would find the same thing happens 
with words having u or v as their initial, 
and for the same reason, because they were 
at one time forms of the same letter. In the 
Latin alphabet v once performed the double 
duty of acting as a consonant and a vowel, 
but as explained in the story of the letter u, 
it passed its vowel duty on to that letter. 

Sometimes in stone inscriptions on modern 
buildings you will see a letter v in a word 
that you know very well should have a u 
instead. That is because the man who carved 
the word has done it in a very ancient way ; 
he has followed the style of the early Greeks 
and Romans, who found it simpler to cut 
two slanting strokes with their chisels than 
two upright strokes joined by a curve at the 

Have you ever come across anyone who 
sounds V like w ? Some people do ; for 
example, they say wan for van, and wery for 
very. Well, although they probably do not 
know it, that is the sound the Romans used 
instead of our v sound. 

WTHE letter w, the twenty-third 
in the English alphabet, has a 
sound that is not met with 
in any other language. The 
French out (pronounced we) and the Spanish 
hua (pronounced wa, the a as in father) have 
some resemblance, but for proper names 
which in English begin with w, these lan- 
guages use gu, as in Guillaume for William. 
If you refer to the history of the letters 
u and v you will get a very good idea of why 


In the cold scriptorium or writing room of the monasteries the monks made copies of manuscripts until 
the discovery of printing relieved them of the work which they had performed with such loving care. 

we call this letter double u (uu), and not 
double v (vv), which it certainly more closely 
resembles. It was simply that u was originally 
like a v, and that when uu made their appear- 
ance in our alphabet they were often written 
as two y's (fig. I). That was somewhere 
about the eleventh century. Later the two 
y's were joined together (fig. 2), but since 
they were really two u's, they remained 
faithful to their proper sound, that of 
double u not double v. 

From this you will gather that w was 
never a specially formed letter, but owes 
its existence to the binding together of two 
letters. This is known as a ligature, other 
examples of which are seen in the printing of 
(ff) and (ffi). Look at these letters in any 
book or newspaper and you will notice that 
they are an impression from a single piece of 
type. The diphthongs ce and a? are also 

If you ever come across an Anglo-Saxon 
manuscript keep a sharp look out for a letter 
like our small p (fig. 3), but do not mistake 
it for that letter, for it is actually what our 
early ancestors used for a w. It is called the 
wen rune, that is the letter called wen in the 
Anglian Runic alphabet. Its place was taken 
by vu, and from this our w was developed 
as stated above. 

XTHE Egyptian ancestor of the letter 
x was a " chair-back " (fig. 1), 
at least that is what their picture 
was supposed to represent. In 
their sacred writings its form was very differ- 
ent (fig. 2), and had a slight suggestion of a 
post fixed in the ground, from which fact 
the Phoenicians probably came to give it 
the name of samekh. Their symbol in turn 
was quite unlike that of the Egyptian scribes, 
and bore some resemblance to a young 




child's attempt to draw a telegraph pole 
and wires (fig. 3). 

In the Greek alphabet this form had its 
place taken by two others. One was three 
parallel bars one above the other, the centre 
one being smaller than the other two (fig. 4), 
and the second was just like our x (fig. 5) 
when written hurriedly. 

It is believed that samekh once looked some- 
thing like a window (fig. 6), and it is thought 
that the two Greek forms came from this, 
the three bars being what remains after 
the sides are taken away, and MMNRi^^m 
the other form being the cross 
without the frame, only turned 
on to two feet. The former in 
classic Greek was used to 
denote the sound ^s, and the 
latter had the value of / and 
was called chi. 

In the Latin alphabet x 
once occupied the fifteenth 
position, but when it was 
given two forms, the second 
of these was placed at the 
end of the alphabet, while 
the other, whose sound was 
similar to s, was later allowed 
to pass out of the alphabet 

The Greek x, quite a dif- 
ferent letter, Stood for kh Or ch. In China a mandarin gains his rank 

by passing a written examination. 

times y was also used for i in " nothyng," 
" thynketh," and many other words. 

In Anglo-Saxon y (fig. 3) was often used for 
ii or i, but this custom long ago passed out 
of use. There was a time in the early days 
of the English language when y took the place 
of ih. That was because of the likeness of y 
to the Anglo-Saxon character which had the 
sound of th (fig. 4). We sometimes see this 
exchange to-day in inn and other signs, as 
in " Ye Olde Swan Inn," but the was never 
pronounced in the same way as ye. 



YTHE last letter but one of the English 
alphabet, y is one of the four letters 
which are direct descendants of the 
Greek upsilon (fig. 1). Thus, as 
you have read under the story of u, it had as 
an ancestor the Egyptian pictograph that stood 
for /. This was the " horned asp " (fig. 2), 
whose horns and body may be seen to better 
advantage in y than in /. 

It was during the first century B.C. that this 
letter was given a place in the Latin alphabet, 
the object of its introduction being to obtain 



a sound nearer to the Greek v than was 
possible by the existing Latin alphabet. 
The tail flourish of this letter made it a favour- 
ite with writers of the Middle English period, 
and they often changed i into y when it was 
the last letter in a word. In this way words 
like " city " and " kindly " came to be 
written with y as the final letter. In early 

LIKE several of 
companions, z was 
represented by a bird 
in the Egyptian picture 
alphabet, the hieroglyphic used 
being a duck (fig. 1). There 
was little likeness to the duck 
left when the Egyptian scribes 
wrote the letter in their 
sacred writings (fig. 2), and 
their symbol actually bears 
a greater resemblance to the 
sickle which the zayin of the 
Phoenicians is supposed to 
represent. The Phoenician 
form was something like our 
letter H turned over on its 
side, the cross-bar being 
slanting (fig. 3), and in their 
alphabet occupied the seventh 
position, between van and cheth. 

Zeta (fig. 4), the name adopted by the 
Greeks, retained the seventh position in their 
alphabet, and also in that of the Romans until 
the latter decided to do away with it in the 
third century B.C. About two centuries later, 
however, in the time of Cicero, it was found 
desirable to restore the letter to the Latin 
alphabet, as it was necessary for the purpose of 
transliterating certain Greek words, that is 
changing them letter by letter into another 
language. It had, however, lost its place 
as the seventh letter, and had taken up a 
position at the end of the alphabet. Its form, 
too, was changed, its appearance being that 
of the letter we have to-day. 

The name zed which we have for this letter 
was also that of the Phoenicians, and is the 
only one of their names which has passed into 
our alphabet. 


The Adventures and Struggles of Words that are our familiar Friends and how they 
came to us from all Parts of the World 

HAVE you ever played the game of trying 
to write down all the words you know? 
How many did you get ? Two hundred, 
three hundred, five hundred even ? And, 
when you had put down every single word 
you could remember, did you have a look at 
a dictionary, see how many thousands upon 
thousands of words it contained, and wonder 
whether you would ever know them all ? 

No one knows all the words in the English 
dictionary. No dictionary contains all the 
words in the English language. No one knows 
exactly how many ^^^am^^mmm^^m 
words there are in our 
language ; the number 
is always changing, for 
every year fresh words 
are added, and every 
year some words are 
used for the last time. 
Altogether, counting 
everything, there are 
perhaps half a million. 
Half a million is easily 
said, but try to 
imagine what the 
number means. If 
you were to count at 
the rate of one word a 
second for eight hours 
every day, the task 
you two 
weeks to 

would take 
and a half 

Where did all these 
words come from, and 
how did they get into 
our language ? How old is the English 
language, and who first spoke it? Has it 
altered much since that time, and in what 
ways ? These are some of the questions we 
are going to try to answer for you. The 
story is a wonderfully interesting one, for 
our language has had adventures and 
struggles, and has even had to fight for 
its life. It is only because, hundreds of years 
ago, English people were determined they 
would speak English, and no other language, 
that you speak it to-day 

In the fifth century Angles, Saxons, and Jutes came 

in their long ships to lay the foundation.of the 

English language. 

First, what is a language ? The word 
is the French langage in English dress, and 
this word comes through the French langue, 
from the Latin lingua, meaning tongue. 
It is generally understood to mean human 
speech, the understandable sounds, or words, 
which we use to express our ideas. In a 
wider sense, however, language includes 
more than the spoken word. The sounds 
made by animals, the gestures and signs of 
deaf and dumb people, the pictures or 
hieroglyphics of the ancient Egyptians, 

-- , all these are means of 

! communicating ideas, 
and must, therefore, be 
considered as language. 
Moreover, we write a 
language as well as 
speak it. 

How did language 
first begin ? Nobody 
is quite sure ; various 
suggestions have been 
made, but none entirely 
answers the question. 
Most probably prim- 
itive man very grad- 
ually learnt speech in 
much the same way as 
a baby learns to speak. 
First, he only made 
noises in his throat, 
just as the other 
animals did, and just 
as a baby does when 
he chuckles " Ah, 
ah ! " or cries " Dah ! 
Dah ! " These sounds were most likely 
expressed quite unintentionally or un- 
willingly, and were caused by some 
feeling of emotion, by fear, by anger, 
or by pleasure. The lower animals have 
never got beyond this stage of making 
noises a parrot merely imitates but primi- 
tive man had a keener brain than the animals, 
and noticed that he always made the same 
sound when he was afraid, and the same when 
he was angry, and the same when he was 
pleased. So he practised his sounds, as 


baby practises his " Ahs " and his " Dahs," 
and learnt more and more. As he lived always 
with his family, and as the family grew to be 
a tribe, everybody imitated these sounds and 
developed them until they became words 
which everyone knew. Then man gradually 
began to communicate ideas as well as 
emotions, using other sounds ; very, very 
simply, by pointing to the rising sun, perhaps, 
and making a sound to say it was day, or by 
rubbing his face and making another sound 
to show he was hot. 

From these simple beginnings language was 
developed, ever so slowly, until after many 
thousands of years of practice man came to 
give expression to his thoughts in the way 
he does to-day, in whole sentences, each 
connected with the next, but using words 
very different from those now spoken. 
From this early language grew the languages 
of the ancient world, which were often 
carried hundreds of miles by wandering tribes 
before they settled down in a permanent home. 

Before Julius Caesar Came 

English was not the first language of our 
own country. The Britons whom Julius 
Caesar found living here in 55 B.C. had never 
heard of it. Their language was quite 
different ; it is still spoken to-day, very, 
very much altered, by people in Wales, in 
north-west Scotland and in Ireland. Then, 
when a hundred years later, from A.D. 43, 
Britain became a Roman colony, the Romans 
taught the Britons Latin. By A.D. 410, 
when the Romans left Britain, most people 
in the country probably knew Latin as well 
as their native tongue. 

Not many years after the Romans left, 
fierce tribes from the Continent, who then 
lived in what is now Denmark and western 
Germany, and who before had plundered the 
coasts of Britain, began to swarm across the 
North Sea and gradually conquered this 
country for themselves. You all know the 
story, and that the invaders were the Angles, 
Saxons, and Jutes. 

A Baby 1500 Years Old 

They spoke English, and as the first of 
them came to stay about A.D. 450, we can 
say that English has been spoken in this 
country for nearly 1500 years. The name 
England comes from Angle-land, and English 
is the language of the Angles. 

Supposing one of the original Angles could 
come to life again, should we understand 

him when he spoke? Not a bit of it. 
Every language changes as it grows older, 
and English has changed as much as any 
other. In just the same way, a boy changes 
as he grows. Ask your father to show you a 
photograph of himself as a baby, and see if 
you can recognise him. Yet he is the same 
person ; and so your English, the language 
you speak to-day, is the same language as 
Old English, but very much grown up. 
Old English that is, the English spoken 
before the Norman conquest (some people 
call it Anglo-Saxon) is the baby from which 
modern English has grown. It is already 
nearly 1 ,500 years old ; older, really, for the 
language was spoken for hundreds of years 
before it came to England. 

Three English Languages 

Actually, three English languages came to 
England, one for each of the three tribes. 
You know how differently a Yorkshi reman 
speaks (not writes) from a Londoner ? 
There was just about the same amount of 
difference between the languages, or dialects, 
of the Angles, the Saxons, and the Jutes. 
For some eight hundred years, from about 
A.D. 600 to about A.D. 1400, there were 
three slightly different English languages 
spoken and written in this country one 
from Edinburgh to the Humber, one in the 
Midlands, and one south of the Thames. 
The English you speak is most closely con- 
nected with the Midland dialect. 

If an Angle who lived, say, in A.D. 627 
could come to life and speak to you, and if 
you listened very carefully, you might catch 
here and there a word that you recognised. 
He would pronounce them very strangely, 
but he, like you, said wind and corn, talked 
of gold and slept on a bed ; he said his and 
him, and that a thing was under or in another. 

Words that have Died 

Many other words used by him are the same 
as yours, and many more have only changed a 
little in all that long time. You might under- 
stand when he explained how he loved the 
sunne in sumor and hated the ceald winter. 
But many of his words you could not under- 
stand at all, for they are not used now, or 
have changed too much ; such words as 
egeslic, meaning terrible, lichoma, meaning 
body, and spanan, meaning to persuade. 

Now have you noticed that whenever you 
meet a person who uses words that are new 
to you, you at once begin to use those words 


The reading of the first royal proclamation in English instead of French, which had been the language of 

the Court and of all important people since the comirv: of William the Conqueror. This took place in 

125S, when Henry III was king. It was not till 1353 that English was ordered to be used in schools. 


yourself, particularly if they are " catchy " 
or slang words ? We all do, and that is one 
way in which new words get into a language. 
People of one country meet people of another, 
borrow words from them, and use those 
words until they come to be part of their 
own language. English has always been 
particularly good at borrowing. 

It started by borrowing just a very few 
words from the Britons ; not many, because 
the English would have nothing to do with 
the Britons, but killed and enslaved them or 
drove them into the hills of Wales and Corn- 
wall. But combe and down are Briton words, 
and the Englishman learned from the Briton 
the word ceastre, which the Briton had learned 
from the Roman, who built his town round 
his castra, " camp " ; and that is why the 
names of so many towns in England end in 
cester, caster, or chester. 

The Church Plays its Part 

In A.D. 597 Augustine and his monks came 
from Rome to England to preach Christianity. 
The English quickly learned from them 
monk, bishop, priest, cup, and other words 
connected with the church services ; they 
also learned in ordinary conversation new 
names such as box, cheese, kettle, penny, 
pound. As they liked them, they kept them, 
and they have been in our language ever 
since. They liked the Latin alphabet, too, 
so they took to that, only keeping two or 
three of their own letters. 

Then the Danes began to invade this 
country. They spoke a language very much 
like English, and probably, in King Alfred 
the Great's time, an Englishman and a 
Dane could understand each other fairly 
well, even though each spoke his own lan- 
guage. When the Danes settled down in 
England they quickly learnt English, but the 
English managed to borrow quite a few new 
words from them, words such as arrow, knife, 
husband, fellow, earl, hit, take, call, and until. 

Beginning to Grow Up 

But, taking everything into account, 
English did not borrow much before the 
Norman Conquest : only about a dozen 
British words, about two hundred Latin, and 
a number of Danish it is not easy to say 
how many, because this language was so 
very like English. The first really enormous 
growth of the English language came to pass 
because William of Normandy took a fancy 
to England and conquered it. 

In A.D. 1066 English was a pure language, 
that is, a language consisting almost entirely 
of words as old as the English tribes. It was 
a language of short, homely, gruff words, 
with a number of consonants in them and 
very few vowels. (Look at drink, strength, 
word, gold, and you will see what is meant.) 
It was an inflected language, that is, its verbs, 
nouns, pronouns, and adjectives had a 
host of different endings to express changes 
of meaning ; for example, til, meaning 
good, could become tilne, tiles, tilum, tile, 
tilu, tila, tilre, or tilra, as was necessary. Til 
guma meant a good man, but tilra gumena, 
of good men. 

After the Norman Conquest 

During the next 300 years the English 
language had to fight for its life. The Nor- 
mans spoke French, and after the Norman 
Conquest French was spoken by all the im- 
portant people. Only in the labourers* 
cottages, in the fields where the labourers 
ploughed and reaped, and in the servants' 
hall in the castle was English spoken. For 
about 150 years Normans and English kept 
sullenly apart from each other ; they would 
not mix in any way, and refused to speak 
each other's language. Then, strange to tell, 
English began gradually to drive out 
French. By A.D. 1400 almost everybody 
was speaking it. 

The Normans Learn English 

How did this miracle happen ? The 
Normans who came over with William the 
Conqueror were given lands in England. 
Some of them had lands also in Normandy ; 
some had not. Travelling in those days was 
difficult and dangerous, and as the years went 
by many barons, particularly those who had 
no lands in Normandy, began to look upon 
England as their home. Their children were 
born and brought up in England, and felt 
still more at home. As time went on (re- 
member, all this happened very slowly) they 
began to respect the English among whom 
they lived. English soldiers fought bravely 
side by side with Norman barons ; English 
farmers looked after their land while they were 
away at the wars ; English merchants grew 
rich again, and English priests began to occupy 
high posts in the Church. 

As the English would not learn French, the 
Normans learnt English, not in schools or 
from books, but by living with and talking to 
the English. English and Normans began to 


intermarry, and their children grew up 
speaking English. But, naturally, while the 
Normans learnt English, they kept on using 
a lot of French words, and these the English 
learnt from the Normans. 

In 1204 the King of France conquered 
Normandy and took it away from 
King John of England. Then 
the Norman nobles who still held 
lands in Normandy had to decide 
whether they would be English- 
men or Frenchmen. In 1215 the 
Normans and the English together, 
headed by an Englishman, Stephen 
Langton, Archbishop of Canter- 
bury, made John sign Magna 
Charta, and then, perhaps for the 
first time, they felt that they 
both belonged to one country 
England. But see how slowly 
things moved. It was not till 
1258 that the King, Henry III, issued a 
royal proclamation in English instead of 
French, and it was not till 1353 that English 
was ordered to be used in schools in the place 
of French. 

Then a great poet began to write in 
English, and all who could read enjoyed 
him. His name was Geoffrey 
Chaucer, and his greatest work 
was the " Canterbury Tales." His 
poems helped the English language 
in many ways. First of all nobody 
was ashamed to speak English 
after so great a poet had written so 
splendidly in it. Secondly, they 
helped to decide that in future 
there should be one English 
language, and not three. You 
remember the three dialects ? 
Chaucer wrote in the Midland 
dialect, which was spoken in the 
great city of London and at the 
Universities of Oxford and Cambridge. After 
his time the Midland dialect became the 
English language, the King's English, and 
whatever dialect you might speak, you wrote 
in this English. Thirdly, Chaucer's poems 
helped to settle which French words were 
going to become once and for all English 
words, for he used both English and French 
words so naturally that people could not 
help feeling that the new words were part of 
the language. 

At the same time another very great 
man, John Wyclif, a learned priest, was busy 
translating the Bible (from the Greek biblia, 

Chaucer, the first great 
poet to write in English. 

Wyclif, the first translator 

of the complete Bible into 


meaning writings) into simple and beautiful 
English prose. His followers, the " poor 
priests," or Lollards, as they were 1 called, 
carried his translations to all parts of the 
country, and everywhere Englishmen heard 
the Scriptures in their own language. Chaucer 
and Wyclif showed between them 
that men could write in English 
both graceful and musical poetry 
and strong, clear, musical prose. 

By A.D. 1400 English had 
triumphed gloriously, and was 
once more the language of every- 
one in this country. But it was 
a very different and, on the whole, 
a far finer language than when it 
started on its long struggle with 
French. To begin with, it had 
lost most of its inflections ; a 
single ending, e, had taken the 
place of a multitude of Old 
English endings. This would no doubt 
have happened m time even if there had been 
no Norman Conquest, but the coming of 
French into England hastened it. Even 
then it took 350 years. 

Again, English had borrowed, that is, taken 
into the language a huge number of French 
words, and dropped many of its 
own. For example, gold-hoard 
disappeared and treasure took its 
place, library replaced book-hoard, 
disciple replaced learning-knight , 
beauty replaced fair-hood, and so 
on. Many of the new words which 
came in had to do with the 
occupations of rulers and of 
barons, and with learning : such 
words as castle, tournament, par- 
liament, baron, duke, Bible, sermon, 
prison. But all the same, quite a 
number of common words came 
in, too. Air, hour, minute, second, 
uncle, aunt, nephew, niece, trousers, cauli- 
flower, cabbage, and car are all French. 
In some cases both English and French 
words for the same thing stayed in the 
language, such as foe and enemy, bold and 
courageous, unlikely and improbable. Some- 
times these pairs of words shared a meaning 
between them. Thus the French words, beef, 
mutton, pork, and venison came to mean only 
the flesh of oxen or cows, sheep, pigs, and deer. 
Now the French language is descended 
from the Latin, so the words that English 
borrowed from French during this time 
were really Latin words, or, at any rate. 


the sons and daughters of Latin words. 
The next great addition to our language 
it was more an addition than a change 
was the result of a huge borrowing direct 
from Latin. 

In the Middle Ages, that is, from A.D. 476 
(the fall of the West Roman Empire) to about 
A.D. 1400, hardly anyone could read or 
write. Nearly everyone who could read 
joined the Church, and thus nearly all 
learning was kept in the monasteries where 
the monks lived, and consisted chiefly of 
studying books on religion. But from 
about 1400 onwards, or even earlier, a desire 
to know things and to learn began to spread 
through Europe, and in 1453 a great event 
happened which helped this desire enor- 
mously. The Turks captured Constantinople 
and from that city there fled to Italy and 
France and Germany learned men carrying 
with them the wonderful books written by 
the Greeks and Romans hundreds and 
hundreds of years before, books which had 
been almost forgotten in Europe for a thou- 
sand years. Everywhere men began to learn 
Latin and Greek, and to study these books. 
In England they began rather later than on 
the Continent, because the Renaissance, or 
Revival of Learning, spread from East to 
West across Europe. 

England had had many troubles during the 
century or so before the arrival of the New 

Learning, but strong kings were making 
England prosperous, and men took eagerly 
to the New Learning. A recent great inven- 
tion helped them, the invention of printing. 
William Caxton set up the first printing 
press in England in 1476, and before many 
years had passed most people, except the 
very poorest, could have books of their own. 
Now that the country was at peace and pros- 
perous, men began to write books again, 
and as everyone was learning, reading, and 
often speaking Latin, they frequently wrote 
their books in that language. They forgot 
the lesson which Chaucer and Wyclif had 
taught. When they wrote prose in English, 
it was a stiff Latin-English prose. 

But they wrote poetry in English, and during 
the second half of the sixteenth century 
more poetry was written in England than 
ever before, and perhaps ever since. It became 
the fashion to write poetry, and every gentle- 
man did so ; and all the time they were learn- 
ing what a wonderful language English really 
was, and how beautifully and expressively 
one could say things in it. In their eagerness 
to say all they wanted to they not only 
borrowed words right and left, chiefly from 
Latin, but also made up words, chopped 
them in two, and twisted their meanings. 

Then came the greatest poet of all, William 
Shakespeare. It is difficult to tell you how 
tremendously Shakespeare's works have 

Shakespeare has shown us what can be done with words and phrases, and has helped to make English the 
greatest literary language in the world. Here he is seen reciting one of his plays to Queen Elizabeth. 


John Bunyan's " Pilgrim's Progress " was written in the same simple language as the Bible, the two most 
widely read of all books among English speaking people. 

helped the English language by showing 
people how it can be used. There is only one 
book which has done more, and that is the 
Authorised Version of the Bible, first printed 
in 1611. That book has done more than all 
other books ever printed to make English 
what it is now, the grandest, most powerful, 
most expressive, most beautiful language 
in the world. It has done this very largely 
because it kept in the language so many 
of the simple, short, homely words that the 
Angles and the Saxons used. 

Between about 1550 and 1650 the English 
language added enormously to its stock of 
words, dropped most of the inflections 
which had remained after 1400, including the 
e, decided upon its alphabet by dropping the 
two Old English signs for u) and th, settled 
more or less its spelling and its grammar, and 
made great changes in its pronunciation. At 
the same time its writers, Shakespeare, 
Spenser, Marlowe, Ben Jonson, Milton, 
and hundreds more made it the greatest 
literary language in the world. Since that 
time it has not altered much ; it has added 
many words, but you can read any writer 
of 1650 almost without difficulty. 

Multitudes of words came into our language 
in that time. A writer in 1619 complained 
of hearing these comparatively new words : 
common, study, justice, pity, mercy, profit, 
colour, favour. Many were " learned " words, 
such as you find in books but do not very 
often hear in ordinary conversation, words 
such as audacious, destruction, ponderous, 
prodigious not to mention such monstrosities 
as sufflaminate, stultiloquy, ludibundness, which 
we soon dropped. So fond of these long, 
learned words did the writers in the seven- 
teenth century become that for many years it 
seemed possible that the short, homely Old 
English words would be driven out of written 
English at least. Fortunately they were not, 
and for two chief reasons. 

The Authorised Version ofthe Bible was read 
by everyone during the seventeenth century, 
which was the century of fierce religious dis- 
putes. Thousands of men and women knew 
whole books of the Bible off by heart. Then 
in 1 678 John Bunyan published " The 
Pilgrim's Progress," which, after the Bible, 
has been read by more English people than 
any other book. " The Pilgrim's Progress " 
was written in the same straightforward, 

simple English as the Bible, and thus the good 
old words stoutly kept their place. 

The second reason was that about 1700 
newspapers and magazines began to be 
published, and as men wished to read these 
quickly at odd moments and for pleasure, 
and not to sit down and study them, writers 
were compelled to write in simpler and 
easier sentences and to use words that 
everyone understood. Ever since that time 
written English has grown steadily simpler 
and more like spoken English. 
-<In this way English has come to be what it 
is. About sixty words out of every hundred 
in our language have come, one way or 
another, from Latin or Greek. But they are 
not the most used words. If you could 
remember every word you used in a day in 
talking to your friends, you would find that 
about five out of six were Old English words. 
Most of the words you cannot do without have 
been in the language since the days of the 
Angles, Saxons, and Jutes. 

When People Spelt as they Lifed 

Just a note about spelling. Have you ever 
wondered why rough, bough, through, cough 
are so closely akin in spelling but not 
in pronunciation ? Or why night, right, 
would, and could are spelt so curiously ? 
Or why allow is pronounced like plough, sweet 
like meat, and so on ? One reason is this : 
when printed books became common it was 
soon found to be necessary to have only one 
way of spelling a word. Before that time 
anyone who wrote a book spelt his words 
just as he liked, exactly as he pronounced 
them. As there were many pronunciations 
in England, so there were many spellings. 
Even a common word like it was spelt it, 
hit, itt, hitt, hitte, and so on. Gradually 
words settled down to one spelling, but they 
did not always settle down to the same 

After they had more or less settled their 
spelling, there was, for some reason or another, 
a great change in the sixteenth and seven- 
teenth centuries in pronunciation. So great 
was this change that you would, if it were 
possible to hear him, find it very difficult 
to understand what Shakespeare said. But 
no change was made in our spelling, and 
that is why there are so many words that 
are difficult to spell and pronounce. There 
have been other changes in pronunciation 
since, but, except for an odd word or two, 
no changes in spelling. 

During the last 300 years, then, English 
grammar and spelling have changed very 
little, but great numbers of new words 
have been added to our language. In 
the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth 
centuries our soldiers and sailors fought in 
all parts of the world, and built up the 
great British Empire. Our merchants have 
traded with every country. Some new 
words have been brought into English 
after almost every one of these expedi- 
tions ; altogether we have borrowed from 
at least thirty different languages. Piano 
and most words connected with music 
are Italian, alligator is Spanish, apricot 
Portuguese, swindler German ; tea is Chinese, 
orange is Persian, boomerang and kangaroo 
are Australian, while canary and gorilla come 
from West Africa. Some of the words 
gained in this way are pictured in the 
Frontispiece by objects representing them. 

Finding Names for Inventions 

Then there have been so many inventions, 
especially scientific, during the last hundred 
and fifty years. When we want a name for 
an invention or a discovery, we generally 
go to Latin or Greek, borrow two (usually) 
simple words, and join them together. 
Thus telephone comes from two Greek words, 
tele, far, and phone, sound ; locomotive is 
from Latin, locus, place, and movere, to move. 
Occasionally we give the invention the in- 
ventor's name. Volt is from Volta, and 
Zeppelins were first built by Count Zeppelin. 
Now and then we join two English words 
together, as in broadcasting, but nearly 
always we go to Latin or Greek, so that the 
number of these words in our language is 
always growing. There is also a tendency to 
introduce Americanisms. 

Why English is English Still 

But we shall never be able to do without 
our real Old English words, the words 
which Hengist and Horsa spoke when first 
they landed in Kent, one thousand five 
hundred years ago. Father, mother, home, 
house, heart, hate, love can you imagine 
our dropping these ? Or our pronouns, /, 
me, we, you, us, that, what ? Never ; and 
that is why English is English still, and always 
will be, and why English people, however 
many words they may borrow from other 
languages, will always talk to one another 
chiefly in the good English words that are as 
old as the English race itself. 




Just as Bricks and Mortar would be of little service to a man who wanted to build a House 

WTTTTIT-NT ^ u * did not know how to use them, so a NT , . , 

VY/HEN you play mefe co u edion O f Words wou i d never heip Now think about 

\\ cricket or tennis ug /Q be understood . In these chapters the v ursel . f for a moment. 
eight parts of speech and how to use them Jfhat is your name? 
correctly are explained in simple language. g u PP ose * 1S . John 

oherwood Kobmson. 


cricket or tennis 
have to pi a y 

according to laws or 

rules. Cricket would 

be a poor game if every batsman who Here are three names. Do people call you 

came in could decide how many stumps he by all three at once ? Of course not. At 

should have behind him, and tennis would home you are sometimes called John and 

be little fun if the server could send the sometimes Jack, at school the masters call 

ball from where he liked, or lower the net you Robinson and the boys perhaps call you 

if he were serving faults. Robin, and almost the only time you ever 

Many rules have to be obeyed when you hear your second name is when your sister 

speak or write the English language. You Joan is pretending to be really cross with 

learn most of them by 
actually speaking and 
writing, just as you 
learn the laws of cricket & 
or tennis by playing r=-~ ^ 
the game. 

In learning the rules 
of English you learn 
those of other languages 
as well, because the 
most important of them 
are the same for every 
other language you are 
likely to come across. 
To begin with, every 
language in Europe 
uses the same eight 
different kinds of words, 
the eight parts of speech. 

The first of these 
first, because it was 
probably the first in- 
vented by primitive 
man, and also because it is the simplest is the 
noun. In talking about the noun, we are 


The name of every object in 
common noun. 

you, and says, " I'll 
never speak to you 
again, John Sherwood 
Robinson ! " 

Every one of those 
names belongs to you, 
and it makes no real 
difference to you which 
one is used. You are 
still you. But sup- 
posing you called the 
cat a pipe, or handed 
your father his pipe and 
said, " Here's your cat, 
dad." That would be 
ridiculous. A cat is a 
cat, and a pipe is a 
pipe. But then you 
are called John and 
Jack and Robinson and 
Robin and Sherwood, 
and yet you remain 
the same boy. 
The fact is there are two very different 
kinds of nouns. You cannot say cat without 


going to make use of what you know already, thinking of whiskers and fur and green eyes 
Just look round the room you are in and and claws and four legs and everything else 

write down the names of the first twenty 

things you notice : 

father chairs books rug 

mother window tray fireplace 

Joan blind vase mantelpiece 

table sideboard pictures photograph 

cloth book-case cat pipe 

It may seem strange to call father, mother, 
and Joan things, but you are perfectly right 
to include their names, because nouns are 
names (L. nomen). The name of anything, 
living or not living, is a noun. 

which a cat has. In other words, the name 
cat belongs to every animal which makes 
you think of those things. Nouns like this 
are called common nouns. The word common 
comes from Latin communis, belonging to 
all, and is applied to names like this, because 
they are not used for any one thing, but for 
every one of the same kind. 

All your names are only labels. So is 
your sister's name, Joan. So is the name of 
the street or road in which you live and of 


the town where your home is. Somebody 
has called your street Bedford Street, but it 
would have made no difference had it been 
named Weston Street or Paignton Street. 
You cannot call every street in the town 
Bedford Street, and it would be distinctly 
awkward if every boy in the school were 
called Robinson. Such nouns are called 
proper nouns (L. proprius), because they are 
the property only of the persons or places 
to which they have been given. They have 
no general meaning at least, not as cat 
and pipe have meanings. When you are 
writing you show that you know proper 
nouns are different from common nouns 
by always beginning them with a capital 

Common nouns can be still further divided 
into classes. First, there is a useful little 
class which is easy to explain. When you 


RUNNING is a good exercise 

Here running is a verbal noun because it is formed 
from the verb to run. 

see a large number of people together you 
call them a crowd ; a large number of soldiers 
you call an army, of battleships a navy, 
of sheep or birds a flock. For the sake of 
using one word instead of several, when 
you find a group of the same things collected 
together you give the whole group a name. 
These names we call collective nouns. 

Again, there is a kind of noun which is 
hardly the name for a class of things, but for 
a kind of material. Such nouns are called 
simply nouns of material, and you will easily 
be able to think of examples. Flesh, mutton, 
calico, sugar, wax are nouns of material. 

Now let us divide common nouns rather 
differently. Most things to which you give 
names you can see or hear or feel or taste or 
smell. The names of such things are called 
concrete nouns. But there are some things 
you can only think about, and even to think 
about them you have to draw away your 

thoughts, or abstract them from other 
things. For example, try to think of colour 
without letting any idea of a red ribbon or a 
blue sky or a green sea come into your 
mind. Try to think of colour without 
thinking of any colours. You will find it 
difficult. Think of happiness without think- 
ing of any particularly happy time you have 
spent, or of roundness without thinking of a 
ball or an orange or something round. Such 
names are called abstract nouns. The 
English language is very rich in abstract 
nouns. Here are a few : Beauty, wealth, 
mischief, height, youth, laughter, whiteness. 

Showing the Number of a Noun 

In your list you will notice that you put 
down father, cloth, sideboard, because there 
was only one of each in the room, but you 
wrote chairs and books because there was a 
number of each to be seen. You added an 
s to the names of the things of which you 
could see more than one, in obedience to the 
rule that you must show the number of a 
noun by the form of the word. If you are 
speaking or writing of one person or thing, 
you use a noun in the singular number 
(singular means " one "), if of more than one 
of the same thing, you generally add s, and 
the noun is in the plural number (plural 
meaning " more than one ") 

Forming the Plural 

Nearly all English nouns add s to form 
their plural. Some nouns find it necessary 
to add es. Nouns that end in x, ch, sh, and 
z do, to make it easier to pronounce them. 
Nouns that already end in s in the singular 
also add es. If they did not, the singular 
and the plural would sound exactly alike. 
Some words that end in y change y into ie 
before adding s. You need never get confused 
over these words if you remember that 
English does not like three vowels together. 
Two are often found as in ladies, flies, cities, 
but rarely three. You cannot write monkeies 
or daies or plaies. So also with nouns ending 
in o, which are allowed to add es, provided 
that three vowels do not come together. 
Many words ending in o, however, like piano 
and so/o, are content to add s alone. Words 
ending in / or fe frequently change / or fe 
into ve before adding s, as in words like knives, 
leaves, or wolves, because in Anglo-Saxon 
or Old English / between two vowels was 
sounded like v. So with th, as in bath, baths. 

There are only ten nouns which do not 


add s to form the plural, that is to say, if 
we take no notice of foreign words, such as 
radius, which still keep their foreign form in 
both singular and plural. These ten are 
man, woman, foot, goose, tooth, louse, mouse, 
dormouse, ox, and child. Brother and cow 
might almost be included although they 
now take s. You seldom hear brethren and 
kine except in church. 

English has almost entirely given up two 
great rules of language which affect nouns. 
The first is that every noun shall have a 
gender (L. genus, kind) that is, shall be able 
to be called he, she, or it. In French, for 
example, the name for a table is feminine, 
and a table has to be called " she " ; so has a 
window or a chair ; but the words for a wall, 
and a book are masculine, and are called " he." 
French has only kept two genders, but 
Greek and Latin had three. A book in 
Latin was " he," a window " she," and a 
song " it." Nouns that were " it " were 
called neuter nouns, and the rule was that every 
noun and pronoun and adjective should show 
by its endings its particular gender. 

Masculine, Feminine, and Neuter 

English has given up all this. In English 
names of male persons and some male 
animals are masculine, and names of females 
feminine. Names of things that are not 
alive have no gender in English. You may 
call them neuter (which means " neither ") 
if you like, and you may call those names, 
such as friend, cousin, baby, elephant, ant, 
which may refer to either sex, common gender, 
but there is no need for you to learn rules 
about this. 

For those nouns, such as prince, giant, lion, 
which still have a feminine form there is 
practically only one way of making the 
change, and that is by adding ess. Otherwise 
we use two distinct words, such as brother 
and sister, father and mother, gentleman and 
lady. Occasionally we show gender by 
adding a masculine or feminine word to the 
noun, and make a compound word, such as 
he-goat, she-goat, billy-goat, nanny-goat, man- 
servant, maid-servant. 

Sense depends on Order 

The second great rule we have almost 
given up is that a noun shall show by its 
form its case. In English the sense of a 
sentence now depends upon the order in 
which the words stand, and so it is un- 
necessary tor words to change to show case, 




John, Mary, and Brighton are proper nouns. 

What a Beautiful 

is a collective noun. 


because case is intended to show the relations 
between words, and these are already ^quite 
clear. It is plain that the sentences, " The 
boy hit the ball," and " The ball hit the boy," 
have entirely different meanings, though the 
words used are the same. In the first 
sentence boy is the name of the subject who 
hits, and the ball is the object hit. In the 
second sentence it is the other way round ; 
ball is subject, and boy is object. 

We still say in English that a noun is in the 
subjective or nominative case when it is the 
subject of a sentence, and in the objective 
case when it is the object of a verb's action, 
or "governed" by a preposition as when we 
say " on the table." But no noun ever changes 
its form for either of these cases ; in some 
European languages, however, it does. 

English nouns have a possessive case, and 
to show this they do change. They add 's 
in the singular, and ' in the plural. The 
(apostrophe) is used instead of a letter which 
has been dropped, and in the possessive case 
this letter is e. We keep this case change 
because it shortens our sentences and is 
convenient. It is easier to say Johns birthday 
than the birthday of John. 

The 's must never be confused with the s 
of the plural, with which it has no connexion. 
Plain s is added to show plural number, *s 
or * to show possessive case. Here is an 
example : 

The boys in the first eleven left school 

The boys' team played exceedingly well. 



the BALL 

Nouns are very hard-worked words ; 
there are so many things to be named. So 
it is not surprising to find that many nouns 
have two or more distinct meanings. Ball 
means a round object with which games are 
played, and also a meeting where people 
dance. Bat means a special kind of club 
to hit a ball with, and a winged animal which 
flies by night. Club means a piece of wood, 
and a society of people. 

Even though we make nouns carry the 
weight of two or more meanings, there are 
still not enough to go round. So we borrow 
words to act as nouns from other parts of 
speech, and particularly from the verb. 
Those that we borrow from the verb are 
often called verbal nouns. They generally 
end in ing. In the sentence, " Running is 
good exercise," running is a noun. In the 
sentence, " He was running," it is a verb. 

Even with all our borrowings, there are 
not enough nouns, and we frequently have 
to use several words to name one thing, 
as in the following sentences, 

No one knew how to get home. 
No one knew what he did. 

We have no single word for how to get home, 
so we use a noun phrase, and we have no single 
word for what he did, so we use a noun clause. 
These we can make up as we like. The 
difference between a clause and a phrase is 
that a clause is a sentence, but a phrase is 
not. He did is a complete sentence, but 
how to get home has no meaning by itself. 

The case of a noun can be shown without changing its form. In the sentence "the boy hit the ball." 
boy is the subject and ball the object. In the sentence "the ball hit the boy," ball is the subject and 

boy the object. 



How they Add to the Meanings of the First Part of Speech >< . >: 

SUPPOSE that it is the first day of the 
holidays. You and a friend have 
arranged that if the weather is fine you will 
go out all day on your bicycles, taking your 
lunch and tea with you. In the morning 
you wake up early, to find the sun shining 
gaily into your room, and you think at once, 
" Hooray ! Blue sky ! What a grand 
morning ! We shall have a lovely time ! " 

It would hardly be 
the same thing to say, 
" Sky ! What a morn- 
ing ! We shall have a 
time ! " No ; you feel 
you need adjectives to 
describe the sky, morn- 
ing, and time. The 
adjectives blue, grand, 
and lovely add a great 
deal of meaning to the 
nouns you have used. 

That is what adjec- 
tives are for, to add to 
the meaning of nouns, 
to give them more 
particular meanings. 
Most adjectives do this 
by adding a description 
to the nouns with which 
they are used, but some 
do it by pointing out 
their nouns as separate 
from all others. 

If you want to describe your house to 
someone who has never seen it, you use 
adjectives. You say, " It is a big house with 
a red roof and four tall chimneys." Or 
supposing that on your birthday you are given 
a puppy as a present, and you are talking 
about it at school. Your talk is full of 
adjectives. You say, " I've had a beautiful 
little puppy given me. He's black and 
white, and he's got soft, silky eai "s and long, 
curly hair." 

All adjectives which describe are called 
descriptive adjectives, or adjectives of quality, 
because each adds a special quality to the 
noun with which it is used. Beautiful adds 
the quality of beauty, little the quality of 
littleness, to puppy. 

There are thousands of adjectives of 
quality in our language, and we are constantly 
adding more. When you think of all the 


"Hilda has a 


marvellous things in the world to be 
described you can hardly wonder that we 
are for ever searching for fresh adjectives. 

Descriptive adjectives are used very simply 
in three ways. First, you may put one or 
more in front of the noun described. 

(1) The big boy led the timid old lady 
across the crowded street. 

Second, you may put the adjective or 
adjectives after the 
noun. This is not very 
often done, and is much 
more common in poetry 
than in prose. 

(2) Ben Battle was 
soldier bold. 

The ships, majestic 
and mighty, 
out of 


is an adjective, because it add 
meaning of the noun bicycle. 

Third, and this use 
is very common, you 
may separate the ad- 
jective from its noun 
and place it after the 
verb ; this is called 
using the adjective 
predicatively that is, 
as part of the predicate. 
This use is most 
to the common with the verb 
" to be." 

(3) The girls were cheerful and gay. 
His father was very clever. 
Our old horse has gone lame. 

In addition to adding to the meanings of 
nouns, adjectives of quality enable you to 
compare one thing, or group of things, with 
another. Every descriptive adjective has 
three degrees of comparison, and for two of 
these degrees changes are made in the form 
of the adjective, or the word more or most is 
placed in front of it. 

The first degree is the positive, the ordinary 
form of the adjective. No comparison is 
made ; you simply state positively " A fat 
pig," or " An expensive football," or " The 
road is wide." 

The second degree is the comparative. 
To change an adjective from the positive to 
the comparative degree you add er to it, 
or use the word more in front of it. As a 


general rule, to an adjective of one or two 
syllables you add er, with an adjective of 
more than two syllables you use more. The 
comparative degree enables you to compare 
one thing or class of things with another. 

Farmer Brown's pigs are fatter than 
Farmer Reed's. 

This football is more expensive than that 

The road here is wider than ours at home. 

The third degree is the superlative, to form 
which you add est or put the word most 
in front of the adjective. The superlative 
enables you to compare one thing, or class 
of things, with all others of the same kind. 

At the show 1 saw the fattest pigs I have 
ever seen. 

This is the most expensive football you can 

The new road at Byeham is the widest 
in England 

Dangers of the Superlative 

You should be very careful about using 
the superlative degree. People who exag- 
gerate are always using superlatives carelessly, 
and so their word cannot be entirely relied 
upon. By using a superlative without 
thought you may make an unjust statement. 
Unless you are certain, it is better to use the 
word very with your adjective instead of the 
superlative form. For example : 

Ellen is the stupidest girl in London 
This is a cruel and probably an unjust 
statement about Ellen, and very likely all 
that the person means who says it is 

Ellen is a very stupid girl 

Besides adding to the meaning of a noun, 
adjectives at the same time lessen the number 
of things to which it may apply. The word 
boy by itself may refer to any boy in the 
world, but big boy cuts out at once all small 
boys, and big fat boy cuts out all small 
boys and also all big boys who are not fat. 

Adjectives of Quantity 

The adjectives of a second class add very 
little to the meaning of a noun, but they 
point out the number of things to which it 
may refer, or limit its application, much more 
clearly. These are the adjectives of quantity. 
which answer the question, How much? 
or How many ? mst as adjectives of quality 
answer the question Of what kind? Ad- 
lectives of quantity include all *he numerals, 
both cardinal (one, two three, etc.) and 
"iinal (first second third etc.). 

lack made twenty . uns. 

'ill took third place in the examination 

Nothing is told us here of what kind of 
runs Jack made whether they were miss- 
hits through the slips or good, clean 
boundaries. But the exact number is told. 
Nor is anything told us about the kind of 
place Jill took. She may have been a bad 
third, a long way behind the second girl, 
or a good one, only a mark or two behind. 
These adjectives cannot be compared. 

Numeral adjectives, as these are often 
called, are very exact in their limitation of 
the noun, but there are other adjectives of 
quantity which are not so precise. AH, 
whole, half may seem to be very exact until 
you think of sentences like 

All people that on earth do dwell. 
Half the proceeds will go to charity 
The whole story will never be told. 

Notice, by the way, the curious habit all 
and half have of coming before the, and 
sometimes a, instead of after as adjectives 
usually do. 

Much, many, most, few, some, several, 
clearly do not point out exact quantities. 
Of the first three all you can say is that they 
mean a great number, probably more than 
half ; of the second three that they do not 
mean a great number. The obvious name 
for such adjectives is indefinite adjectives 
of quantity. So indefinite are they that many 
and few possess comparative and superlative 
forms like adjectives of quality. 

Adjectives that Point Out 

Lastly, the adjectives of a third class have 
in themselves no meaning at all. They 
simply point out. For this reason they are 
called distinctive adjectives, because they 
distinguish one noun from another, or 
pronominal adjectives, because they are so 
closely connected with pronouns that in 
many cases the same word is used. His, 
her, myself, yourself, itself, this, that, which, 
what, whose, each, either, neither, one, none, 
all distinctive adjectives, are also used as 
pronouns. It is a question of whether the 
word is used with a noun or not. 

This collar is dirty (This adjective.) 
This is the fellow I want. (This pronoun.) 
Which apple did you take? (Which 


There are two apples. Which will you 

have ? ( Which pronoun.) 

Give him one of each (One each 


Each girl took one orange (Each oni 

This class ot adiectives is often divided 
into a number of smaller classes according 


to the way in which the adjectives are used. 
Thus which, what, whose are interrogative 
adjectives when they ask a question, 

Whose book is this ? 

and relative adjectives when they show the 
relation between two parts of a sentence. 

I do not know whose book it is. 

There is no need to go into all these classes, 
of which as many as seven have been drawn 
up, but a note about the words a and the, 
which are distinctive adjectives, and yet 
different in a way from all others, may help 
you. A is often called the indefinite article, 
and the the definite article. These words do 
the work of adjectives, but do it in such an 
insignificant way that they hardly seem 
worth the name of adjectives. Very often, 
when we use them, we could miss them out 
without changing the sense ; but we should 
nevei dream of doing without them entirely. 

Using an Adjective Subjectively 

There is one question that may be asked 
about adjectives. Can they be used with 
noun substitutes just in the same way as 
with nouns ? No, they cannot. With pro- 
nouns, which are the most usual substitutes 
for nouns, it is only on very rare occasions 
that you find an adjective used in front, or 
subjectively, as it is called. This can be done, 
however. You can say 

(1) Poor me! What shall I do ? 

(2) Silly you to do such a thing ! 

You can use adjectives predicatively with 
pronouns as much as you like. 

(1) You have been very good, so I will be 

kind to you this once. 

(2) It is cold to-day. 

With adjectives used as nouns you can often 
use other adjectives. You can say on a flag 

Please will you spare a copper for the 
poor blind ? 

and people talk about the idle rich, the 
deserving poor, the mighty deep, the early 
"twenties. It is not so usual to employ 
distinctive adjectives with adjectives used as 
nouns, but a and the can always be thus 

It is very uncommon to find numeral 
adjectives with participles used as nouns, 
since these nouns are nearly always employed 
in the singular only. Adjectives of quantity 
are common : 

He doesn't like much walking. 
With the infinitive used as a noun, with a 



The kite it high : high it the positive degree of 



The balloon is higher : higher is the comparative 
degree of comparison. 

The aeroplane is highest : highest is the superlative 
degree of comparison. 


noun phrase or clause you can use an adjective 
of quality predicatively : 

(1) To swear is foolish. 

(2) To find the right answer is difficult. 
<' (3) Whither he is going is uncertain. 

No adjectives of quality in our language 
ever make any change of form to show 
number, or gender, or case, nor do adjec- 
tives of quantity ; but some pronominal 
adjectives change both for gender and 
number. So we have his, her, and its, and a 
plural form their. Other pronominal adjec- 
tives change for number only ; this becomes 
these and that becomes those. The word self 
changes to selves. 

As with nouns, so with adjectives ; there 
are not enough. We are constantly forced 
to use Phrases and Clauses as substitutes 
for adjectives : 

The man with the black eye appeared in 
court. (Adjective phrase.) 

The gate, which had been damaged by the 
bull, would not open. (Adjective clause.) 

Many nouns, as you were told in the chapter 
on them, are frequently used as adjectives. 
In winter you see bills announcing grand 
football matches, in summer cricket matches. 
At Christmas parties you wear paper hats. 
During your summer holidays you go in for 
sea bathing or country walks. At dinner 
you have mutton chops followed by a rice 
pudding or a rhubarb or gooseberry tart. At 
school you meet in the assembly hall, learn 
history lessons or geography lessons, and use 
drawing boards in the art room. 

On the other hand, as adjectives are always 
used with nouns to add to their meanings, 
it is only to be expected that many adjectives 
come to be used as nouns. Particularly is 
this the case when an adjective is regularly 

used with a certain noun. Because grass is 
nearly always green we talk about the village 
green. Because the sea is deep, we often 
refer to it as the deep. The noun people is 
often omitted, and so such adjectives as poor, 
rich, proud, wealthy, become nouns, and we 
say: The poor suffered dreadfully. In talking 
about time we make numbers into nouns 
when we say: " It is eleven-thirty," or " I 
will be there at three." 

In fact, so easily nowadays can adjectives 
be used as nouns, and nouns as adjectives, 
that it is quite possible that some day 
these two parts of speech will become one, 
and instead of learning about Nouns and 
Adjectives, we shall learn about the Noun- 
Adjective. Even proper nouns are forced 
to act as adjectives, as when we say the 
London train or the Yarmouth sands. 

Adjectives also borrow largely from the 
verb to increase their store. Both the 
Present Participle and the Past Participle of 
nearly every verb have to act also as 
adjectives : 

She had broken my best teapot. (Broken 
past participle, verb.) 

A broken vase can be mended. (Broken 

He was running well when he stumbled 
(Running present participle, verb.) 

Here is a stream of running water. 
(Running adjective.) 

Adjectives borrow also from other parts 
of speech. We talk about the under side ; 
under is usually a preposition or an adverb. 
We say the then king ; then is usually an 
adverb. This is one of the great advantages 
of English, that you can so readily employ 
a word as one part of speech, although 
originally it was another. 

WHICH apple will you hai'p ? 


erv are two apples 

witi you have? 

Here the inclusion of the word apple makes which In this sentence which is used in the form of a 
an adjective. pronoun. 



Why Speaking and Writing would be Clumsy and Awkward Without It ' 

SOME of the inventions of to-day are 
truly wonderful. Think of the aero- 
plane. In 1909 there was tremendous 
excitement because a man had invented 
a flying machine which actually crossed the 
Strait of Dover, a distance of about twenty- 
two miles. In 1927 a young man got into his 
aeroplane in America and flew across the 
Atlantic to land in Paris. The brains of many 
clever men, known and unknown, have 
worked hard to make 
such extraordinary 
progress possible. 

Ours is not the only 
age in which there 
have been marvellous 
inventions. Primitive 
man, thousands upon 
thousands of years 
ago, invented things 
just as wonderful, 
though to us they 
seem so simple that 
we can hardly think 
of them as inventions 
at all. But the man 
who first sawed two 
slices off a tree-trunk 
and made a pair of 
wheels was a genius. 
So was the man who discovered that to 
count in tens was the easiest method of all. 
So was the man who first thought of using 
pronouns instead of nouns. 

It is not, of course, necessary to believe 
that one man invented a complete set of 
pronouns ready for use, but then, no one man 
invented the aeroplane. Pronouns no doubt 
came into use gradually, and were constantly 
improved and made more simple. However 
they arose, they remain the greatest invention 
in language. They are the labour-saving 
device of language, and our speaking and 
writing would be clumsy and awkward 
without them. 

It is usual to say that pronouns stand instead 
of nouns, but that does not tell us half of 
their value. Pronouns are such ready and 
willing workers that they undertake much 
more than that. They have no meaning in 
themselves, but they are ready to take on any 
meaning that they are asked to take. They 
will stand instead, not simply of a noun, but 



a possessive pronoun, because it 
that the rabbits belong to the boy. 

of a noun together with all the words that 
have been added to it to enlarge its meaning. 

The pretty little white house in Ditching 
Lane, the one with the thatched roof and the 
lattice windows, was burnt down yesterday. 
In half an hour it was a complete ruin. 

In the second sentence it stands instead of 
" The pretty little white house in Ditching 
Lane, the one with the thatched roof and the 
lattice windows." A goodly task for one small 
word ! It is one of 
the busiest words in 
our language. 

All our pronouns 
are hard-worked. 
Here is an imaginary 
conversation bet wee iv 
a boy and his sister, 
the day after a party 
to which the girl could 
not go because she had 
a cold : 

John ; W e h a d a 
splendid time 

Bad luck rf "{/ou 
couldn t go. 
Joan : What did you 


lofm : We had com- 
petitions. We were 
blindfolded, and 
i ball into a bucket. We 
had three shots each, and / won the prize, 
because / was the only one who did it twice. 
Dick got in once, but he couldn't get any- 
where near the other two times. You should 
have seen him when he got the first one in. 
He got ever so excited. 
Joan : Oh, / would love to have seen him. Was 

Amy Philips there ? 

lohn : I don't know. She may have been, but 
/ didn't see her. You see. there was such a 
crowd of us there. 

In this conversation there are 116 words, 
and of these thirty are pronouns. Only 
twice are actual names of persons mentioned, 
but think of how many times names would 
have had to be mentioned if there were no 
pronouns ! 

It is very easy to divide pronouns into 
classes according to the ways in which they 
are used. First, we have a very complete set 
of personal pronouns. Here they are : 

Subject : I, we, you, he, she, it, they. 
Object : Me, us, you, him, her, it, them. 
Possessive : Mine, ours, yours, his, hers 


we had to throw 


You will see why these are called personal 
pronouns. You will see, too, that they change 
in form to show number, gender, and case. 
You changes least of all, but we still have the 
old singular forms thou, thee, thine, and ye, 
though they are not now used in ordinary 
writing and speaking. 

The personal pronouns are said to belong 
to one of three persons. The person who is 
speaking or writing of himself says / and 
me and mine. If he includes others with 
himself he says we and us and ours. These 
are pronouns of the first person. The person 
or persons spoken to come second, and so 
you and yours (and thou, thee, thine, ye) are 
pronouns of the second person. The rest of 
the personal pronouns are in the third person, 
and are used instead of the names of persons 
or things spoken about. 


Where shall I 


These is a demonstrative pronoun, because it 
points out something the lanterns. 

There is no need for pronouns of the first 
and second persons to change for gender, 
as it is usually quite clear whether the speaker 
and the person spoken to is male or female. 
Notice that in the possessive case mine 
does not end in s, and that there is no apos- 
trophe before the s in ours, yours, his, hers, 
theirs. The possessive case form its (not 
to be confused with it's, a contraction of it 
is) has not been included in the list of personal 
pronouns, because it is nearly always used 
as an adjective. His is used as an adjective 
just as often as a pronoun. 

Here are the books. Tell me which is 
his (his, pronoun). 

Which is his book ? (his, adjective). 

By adding the word self to certain cases 
of a personal pronoun (selves in the plural) 
we get reflexive pronouns, so called because 
whenever they are used the subject and the 
object of the sentence both refer to the same 
person. The action is said to be reflected or 

thrown back you know how a looking-glass 
reflects your own likeness. 

I hit myself (I myself). 

These reflexive pronouns are often used, 
too, as emphatic pronouns. 

He told us not to go there, but he goes 

Notice that in the third person we add self 
and selves to the objective case form of the 
pronouns, but in the first and second persons 
we add them to my, our, and your, words 
which are adjectives. 

The personal pronouns form the largest 
group of pronouns and, unlike most others, 
can never be used as adjectives. Our next 
group contains only four words, this, these, 
that, those, all of which are used just as 
frequently as adjectives. These words are 
always used to point out, and so are called 
demonstrative pronouns (L. demonstrare, to 
point out). If they are used instead of a 
noun, they are pronouns ; if with a noun, 
they are adjectives. 

Did you see that ? (that, pronoun). 
Did you see that girl ? (that, adjective). 
Where shall I put these ? (these, pronoun). 
Where shall I put these cakes ? (these, 

That is also used as a relative pronoun. 
We shall be talking about relative pronouns 

A third class of pronouns is used for asking 
questions. This is the class of interrogative 
pronouns (L. interrogare, to ask questions). 
The interrogative pronouns are who, whom, 
whose, which, and what. Of these whom and 
whose are the objective and possessive cases 
of who. 

Who, whom, and whose are used instead 
of names of persons. Which is used instead 
of names of persons or things, what 
instead of names of things only. Whose, 
which, and what can be used as adjectives, who 
and whom cannot. 

There is one point to notice. These pro- 
nouns are used in both direct and indirect 

Who will stand on either hand, 
And keep the bridge with me ? 

(direct question). 
Tell us who it was (indirect question). 

This is important, because all these words 
are used also as relative pronouns. The 
relative pronouns are who, whom, whose, 
which, what, and that, and they are probably 
the handiest words in the language. 

They are somewhat difficult to understand. 
Their name does not fully explain what they 


do. They are called relative pronouns because 
they are always connected with, that is, re- 
lated to, some noun or pronoun. This noun 
or pronoun usually comes before the relative 
pronoun, and so is called the antecedent (L. 
ante, in front of, cedere, to go). 

The MAN who saved the girl's life dis- 
appeared into the crowd. 

Here are the FLOWERS which you asked 
me to buy. 

But relative pronouns do more than relate 
to an antecedent. They also join sentences 
together, and so are conjunctions as well as 
pronouns. For this reason they are sometimes 
called conjunctive pronouns. If you had to 
write the sentences above without relative 
pronouns you would have to say 

The man saved the girl's life (and) 
he disappeared into the crowd. 

You asked me to buy the flowers (and) 
here they are. 

A second difficulty about relative pro- 
nouns is this. In English to-day it is possible, 
both in speaking and in writing, to omit one. 
We consider that it is understood to be there. 

I've lost the pencil (that) you gave me. 

The girl (whom) you mean has left the 

We saw the tiger (which) the Prince of 
Wales killed. 

The relative pronouns most often understood 
are that and which. Who and whose, though, 
are never omitted. 

In the same way it is possible to omit the 
antecedent. Whenever you find what used 
as a relative pronoun you can be sure the 
antecedent is understood. The antecedents 
of who and whom can also be understood. 

John is sure to have found out 
(the name of i L ., . 
the person) who has the ^ 
I know exactly what you mean. 

A third difficulty about relative pronouns 
is their position in the sentence. The sense 
in an English sentence depends upon the 
order of the words, and by putting the 
relative pronoun in the wrong place it is 
easy to turn sense into nonsense. 

The engine in the railway station which 
was blowing off steam made a tremendous 

This sentence means that the railway 
station was blowing off steam, which is 
absurd. By moving which was blowing off 
steam in front of in the railway station you 
get a perfectly good sentence. As a general 
rule, keep the relative pronoun as close as 
you can to its antecedent. 

The antecedent of a relative pronoun may 
sometimes come after the pronoun instead of 

before it. This is more frequent in poetry 
than in prose, but it is quite common in 
prose, particularly when the word ever or 
soever is added to the relative pronoun. We 
often, for emphasis, say whoever, whosoever, 
whatever, whatsoever, whichsoever, and in 
familiar conversation whichever, and we use 
these words both as relative and as inter- 
rogative pronouns. 

Whoever thinks he can do this alone (he) 
ought to be locked up. 

Whatever you decide to do, it must be 
done at once. 

You must not think that because so much 
has been said about the difficulty of relative 
pronouns they are difficult to use. They 
are not. In ninety-nine cases out of a 
hundred you will use them perfectly correctly. 
It is only when we begin to examine closely 
into exactly what they do that we find they 


Second is a pronoun denoting number. It 
answers the question. Which in order of sequence. 

are not so simple as they seem. There is, 
however, one very common mistake un- 
educated people do make very frequently, 
and that is to use what with an antecedent. 
It is wrong to say 

The man what was going up the street 
told me ; or, the cow what you saw was sold 
for 50. 

This is never allowed in good English. 

Each, either, and neither are called dis- 
tributive pronouns, because when you use 
them you think of things as being separate 
one from another, or distributed. These 
words again can all be used as adjectives. 

Neither is fit to be used (neither, pronoun). 
Neither girl could tell why she had done it 
(neither, adjective). 

Lastly, there is a class of pronouns whose 
business is to point out, but to do so without 
pointing out any special persons or things. 
Anyone, someone, anybody, somebody, one 
(when it means any one), another, any, some, 
belong to this class, and these words are 
known as indefinite pronouns. 



Master Words which Control all the Others 

WHENEVER a number of people set 
out to do anything big together, it 
is necessary for them to have leaders. An 
army without generals to command it, or a 
navy without admirals, would be of very 
little use. Imagine an army in which there 
was no one to give orders, in which nobody 
knew what to do or what anybody else was 
doing ! Imagine the fleet leaving Portsmouth 
with no one to give instructions where to go 
or what to do ! 

So in the great army of words generals are 
needed, and the verbs are the generals. A 
sentence without a 
verb is just a collec- 
tion of words with no 
instructions what to 
do. Look at these 
words : 

The tall man . . . the 

frightened boy. 
The little girl . . . her 


Father .- . . , in 
"the garden. 

You have here the 
names of six persons 
and things, but what 
are you told about 
them? Nothing. 
There is no word yet 
to give orders to these 
names, to turn them 
into sentences. But 
add a verb to each of 
these groups of words 
and see how they at 
once become sentences full of meaning : 

The tall man hit the frightened boy. 
The little girl has lost her doll. 
Father is digging in the garden. 

Any other part of speech can be absent 
from a sentence, but a verb cannot be, for 
it is the master word which controls all the 
others and turns them into a sentence. How 
does it do it ? Well, think of our army once 
again. Every army is divided into two parts. 
In the first part are the men who fight, the 
infantry, cavalry, gunners, and the men who 
assist them, who bring food up to them and 
look after them when they are wounded. 
The second part consists of the staff, which 
gives orders to the first part. At the head 


Auxiliary verbs help verbs. Here should helps the 
verb love. 

of the staff is the general, who controls 

Now this is something like what happens 
in the sentence. Every sentence is divided 
into two parts, the subject and the predicate, 
and every word in the sentence must belong 
to one of those two parts. The chief word 
in the subject is a noun or pronoun (or a 
substitute for a noun, such as a noun clause), 
but the chief word in the predicate, the verb, 
is also the chief word in the whole sentence. 
It gives the orders, and sets everything moving. 
If we divide up the first sentence we gave 
above as an illustra- 
tion we get 

The tall man (subject) 
hit the frightened 
boy (predicate). 

Without the verb hit 
we could only have 
guessed what passed 
between the man and 
the boy. Hit and the 
words with it (includ- 
ing the object, see next 
page) predicate that 
is, say something about 
the subject. 

The verb, then, has 
the most important 
work to do of all the 
parts of speech. So 
important is its work 
that the first writers of 
grammar books called 
it simply the word 
(L. verbum, meaning 
word), ranking it even higher than nomen, 
the name or noun. 

How does the most important word in the 
sentence go about its work ? It says something 
about the subject. Now, if you take any 
subject, any noun, you can say that the 
thing of which it is the name is either (1) 
doing something or having something done 
to it, or (2) that it is something. That 
means that there are two kinds of verbs, 
those that predicate actions and those that 
predicate states. Of these two classes, the 
first is far the more numerous. We will 
examine then the verbs predicating actions 
first, and see how they work, and then turn 
to the verbs predicating states. In many 


ways their tasks are similar, but there are 
some very obvious differences. 

Let us consider those sentences which we 
wrote down a short while ago. Here they 
are : 

The tail man hit the frightened boy. 
The little girl has lost her doll. 
Father is digging in the garden. 

All the verbs here predicate actions, but the 
third, is digging, is an action which is ex- 
pressed rather more simply than the other 
two. If someone were to say to you, 
" Father is digging," you have at once a 
picture of father (subject) and the action 
is digging (predicate). You have a complete 
sentence expressing a complete thought. 
But if someone were to say, " The tall man 
hit," you would immediately feel you had 
not .a complete sentence, because you would 
want to know whom or what he hit. And 
if someone said " The little girl has lost," 
you would want to know whether it is her 
mother, or her hair-ribbon, or her doll, or 
what it is that she has lost. 

The action expressed by the words is 
digging is complete when it has a subject ; 
the actions expressed by hit and has lost are 
not complete until they have an object on 
which the action is performed as well as a 
subject which performs it. Verbs which 
need an object are called transitive, because 


Jnerope MUST break 
with that strain 

An irregular verb is one that is either conjugated in 

an unusual way or not at all. Mast is an 


their action passes on to some person or 
thing (L.L. transitivus, from transire, to pass 
on). Verbs which do not need an object 
are called intransitive, that is, not transitive. 
The object, like the subject, is a noun 
or pronoun, or a noun substitute, and to it 

may be added other parts of speech to enlarge 
its meaning, just as other parts of speech may 
be added to the subject or the predicate to 
enlarge their meanings. Notice that a phrase 
like in the garden is not an object ; it is 
only an enlargement of the predicate, telling 
you where father is digging. Here is one 


When the subject has something done to it the 

verb is said to be in the passive voice. Here 

cakes is the subject and baked the verb. 

of our sentences enlarged and divided into 
subject and predicate, including object : 

The tall man, who was dressed in rags 
and carried a heavy stick in his hand 
(subject), hit brutally time after time, and 
each time more viciously (predicate), 
the poor little frightened boy, who did 
nothing to defend himself (object). 

In English, as you know, we make words 
work hard, often giving them two or more 
separate meanings or making them act as 
more than one part of speech. So we make 
many verbs act both transitively and intran- 
sitively. For example : 

(1) John 15 burning the weeds in the garden 

(weeds object, transitive) 

(2) The weeds are burning merrily 

(no object, intransitive) 

(1) Joan has hidden my exercise book 

(my exercise book object, transitive) 

(2) Many smugglers have hidden in this 

cave (no object, intransitive) 

Whether a verb is transitive or intransitive 
depends entirely on how it is used. 

Now, we said that the verb might say of the 
subject that it was having something done 
to it, as well as that it was doing something. 
Consider these sentences : 

(1) The boy hit the ball. 

(2) The boy is hit by the ball. 

In both sentences the boy is the subject, 
but the sentences mean two very different 




the /tose 

Carried is a transitive verb because it requires an 
object hose in this case. 

In this sentence ripens is the transitive verb and 
corn the object. 

Jhe girl 
a rose 

things, as you would know if you were the 
boy and the ball were a hard one. In both 
cases something is said about the boy, but 
in the first there is an object, the ball, which 
he hits, while in the second he is himself the 
object which is hit. In the second sentence 
the subject is also the object. The difference 
is shown by the form of the verb, and is 
called voice. When the subject is active 
and does something the verb is said to be in 
the active voice ; when the subject is passive, 
not active, when it has something done to it, 
the verb is said to be in the passive voice. 
As in the passive there is an object of the 
action, you will see that only transitive verbs 
can have a passive voice. 

Now let us consider the time at which an 
action can be said to happen, because this 
is shown by the form of the verb. We can say 

(1) The boy is eating the cake 

(2) The boy ate the cake 

(3) The boy will eat the cake 

and the form of the verb shows us in (1) that 
the boy is doing it now, in the present, in 
(2) that he did it in the past, in (3) that he 
will do it in the future. These changes in 
the form of the verb are called tense, from 
L. tempus, which became in French temps, 
meaning time. 

The English verb of action is rich in 
tenses. There are three principal tenses 
for each division of time present, past, 
future. That makes nine principal tenses. 
Here they are : 

(1) Simple present 

Continuous or 
imperfect present 
Perfect present 

(2) Simple past 

Continuous or 
imperfect past 
Perfect past 

(3) Simple future 

Continuous or 
imperfect future 
Perfect future 

The boy eats the 

The boy is eating 

the cake. 
The boy has eaten 

the cake. 
The boy ate the 

The boy was eating 

the cake. 
The boy had eaten 

the cake. 
The boy ioi// eat 

the cake. 
The boy will be 

eating the cake. 
The boy will have 

eaten the cake. 

Here rose is the object and picked is the transitive 

The simple tense, you see, says nothing 
more than that the action happens, happened, 
or will happen. The imperfect or con- 
tinuous tense shows the action going on ; it 
is a not perfected, that is, not finished action. 
The perfect tense shows a finished or com- 
pleted action. 

The names of the tenses are often given in 
the opposite order to that which we have 



Continuous or 
imperfect present 
Perfect present 

(2) Simple past 

Continuous or 
imperfect past 
Perfect past 

(3) Simple future 

Continuous or 
imperfect future 

Perfect future 

used ; for example, the perfect tense, future, 
is generally called the future perfect, and so 
on. The perfect tense, past, is usually called 
the pluperfect. 

Transitive verbs, which have a passive 
voice, can of course have all these nine 
tenses in passive form. 

(1) Simple present The cake is eaten 

by the girl. 
The cake is being 

eaten by the girl. 
The cake has been 

eaten by the girl. 
The cake was eaten 

by the girl. 
The cake was being 

eaten by the girl. 
The cake had been 

eaten by the girl. 
The cake will be 

eaten by the girl. 
The cake will be 

being eaten by the 

The cake will have 

been eaten by the 


We have also one or two other occasional 
tenses for use when we wish to give a more 
or less exact idea of time, as when John 
says " I am about to eat this cake." English 
possesses the great gift of being able to 
make up forms of speech when it wants 
them. We have also what is called a 
conditional tense. Strictly speaking, this is 
not a tense at all, but is used to show that 
there is a condition, that is, an " if," about 
what we say. We use should, and sometimes 
would, to form this tense. For example : 

I should like to go (if you will let me)." 

Now let us consider the manner in which a 
statement may be made about a subject, or, 
as it is called in grammar, the mood of the 
verb (L. modus manner). All the sentences 
which have been used as illustrations so 
far have had verbs in the indicative mood. 
The verb in the indicative mood indicates, 
that is, points out, facts or tries to get them 
pointed out by asking a direct question. 

The boy next door fell and broke his arm. 

Has the boy next door broken his arm ? 

The indicative is the most used of all 
the moods, for we spend a great deal of our 
time stating facts and asking questions. 
But we also spend much time in giving com- 
mands or making requests. 

Get out of the way ! 

Fetch my racket, please. 

Here plainly the mood is different. This 
is the imperative mood (L. imperare, to 
command). There is only one tense here, 


Intransitive verbs require no object. 

Here rose is 


Chatter can 

be used as a noun, 
intransitive verb. 

Here it is an 

In the sentence 

' the hat falls " the intransitive 
verb is falls. 



the present, and only one person, the second, 
to whom a command may be given or a 
request made. The subject of a verb in the 
imperative mood is almost always omitted ; 
it is always you, except in those cases in 
which we include our hearers with ourselves 
and issue a collective command, such as 

Let's play another game now. 

When a subject is omitted, it is said to be 

The subjunctive mood is not much used 
in English to-day. It is very much used in 
French, though even in that language not so 
much as formerly. The word subjunctive 
means joined under, and a verb in the 
subjunctive mood is joined to and under the 
control of another verb, even though that 
principal verb, as it is 
called, may be under- 
stood, that is, not 
spoken or written. 
When you say 

God save the King ' 

you do not state a 
fact, ask a question, or 
give a command. You 
express a wish ; you 
mean (I hope that) 
God (may) save the 
King. Similarly, when 
you say 

I wish John were 
doing this job, 

were doing is under the 
control of, or de- 
pendent upon, the 
principal verb I wish. 
Again, if you said 

If your father saw you doing that, he 
would forbid you, 

sou) is dependent upon forbid. 

But it is often very difficult to say whether 
a verb ought to be in the subjunctive or the 
indicative mood. Those cases in which 
the verb changes its form are certain, and 
that is about all one can say. 

(1) By dropping s God save the King! 

I am afraid lest he 
make it wrong. 

(2) By using be instead of is and are. and 

were instead of was. 
If that be true, then you are right. 
If that were the case, you ought to have 

come home. 

And of the changes in form we are rapidly 
dropping in speech at least the last two. 

There are only two tenses in the sub- 
junctive present and past. 


In these three moods the verb has bounds 
or limits set to it by the number and person 
of its subject and by tense. But there is a 
fourth mood which has no such limits, which 
expresses really nothing much more than 
the name of the action or state which the verb 
denotes. This is the infinitive mood. The 
word infinite, you know, means without 
limits, and the only limits which the various 
forms of the infinitive mood have are those 
of tense. In this mood there are three 
tenses present simple, present imperfect, 
and present perfect. Here are examples : 

(1) I learned to write when I was five years 


(2) I should like to be writing now. 

(3) That letter ought to have been written 

to Uncle James. 


ARE you better? 

In asking the question " Are you better ? " the little 
girl uses are as an auxiliary verb .with full meaning. 

infinitive is 
always used 
another verb, 
and the word to is 
considered part of it. 
But it can be used by 
itself, and to is often 
omitted after another 
verb, as these sentences 
will show : 

(1) To write neatly is 
a tidy habit. 

(2) I can write better 
than you. 

The infinitive is 
practically a noun. It 
is the name of an 
action or a state. What 
is a tidy habit? 
Answer, to write 
neatly. Notice that 

although these infinitives are as good as 
nouns, they are also most distinctly verbs, 
and can, if transitive, take an object, as in 
the following sentence : 

He would like to give a shilling (shilling. 
object of give.) 

Writing and written are called participles, 
because they " share some part " of the 
properties of a verb and noun adjective. 
Writing is a present participle, and written a 
past participle. All present participles end 
in ing, and all can be used (1) as pure verbs, 
(2) as nouns, (3) as adjectives. 

(1) The bird was flying home to its nest 

(flying, veib). 

(2) Flying is becoming very oopulai 

(flying, noun). 

(3) John took a flying leap across the 

stream (flying, adjective). 
Most past participles end in ed, but some 


end in t, and some, as you will see from 
the sentence above, end in en. A few end in 
n, such as shown and grown. The past 
participle can be used (1) as a pure verb, 
(2) as an adjective. 

(1) All the mice have escaped horn the cage 

(escaped, verb). 

(2) The escaped prisoner was recaptured 

(escaped, adjective). 

That is all for the present about verbs of 
action. There are many other small points 
that might be mentioned about them, but it is 
better to know first all the important ones. 
Remember, then, that verbs of action may 
be transitive or intransitive, that they have 
four moods, indicative, imperative, subjunc- 
tive, and infinitive, that in the indicative mood 
they have nine principal tenses, and that in 
those tenses the verb 
may be either singular 
or plural, and used in 
the first, second, or 
third person, according 
to the number and 
person of its subject. 

Remember, too, that 
transitive verbs have 
two voices, an active 
and a passive, and that 
for every form that is 
found in the active 
voice there is, with one 
exception, a corres- 
ponding one in the 
passive. The excep- 
tion is: present 
participles are always 
active, past participles 
of transitive verbs are 
always passive. 

Now for the verbs which denote states. 
These are few in number, but they are 
immensely important, because we are always 
using them. When you are told that the 
commonest of them are the verbs to be, to 
become, to seem, to look, YOU will understand 
how important they are. 

(1) John is a big boy tor his age. 

(2) He will become a fine cricketer. 

(3) He seems to know exactly what to do. 

(4) He looks very brown after his holiday. 

Now, the first and chief point you will 

him. So these verbs are called verbs of 
incomplete predication, and the word or words 
added to them to complete what is said about 
the subject is the complement. 

John subject. 

verb) .. 




vou i 
he is 

Tell expresses a command, and it therefore a verb 
used in the imperative mood. 

tall complement J 

These verbs cannot have an object, and 
the complement always refers to the subject. 
Tall refers to John. If you say 

He became suddenly ill 

That boy is an American 

r// refers to he, and American refers to that boy. 
Far and away the most important of these 
verbs of incomplete predication is the verb 
to be, which we are always using. The 
verb to be is one of the verbs whose conjuga- 
tion, by which we mean all the forms it can 
take, is irregular. Here 
is its present tense : 

we are f 
you are 
they are/ 

Of course, you know 
all the forms of this 
verb perfectly, so there 
is no need to write any 
more. But there seems 
to be very little con- 
nexion between am, 
are, and is, does there ? 
The verb to be, the 
commonest in every 
language, is always 
irregularly conjugated. 
This verb is impor- 
tant in English beyond 
all others because, 
besides being by far 
the most used verb of 
incomplete predication, it is also used to help 
form the tenses of all other verbs. The verbs, 
to have and to do, and the verb forms, shall, 
will, may, might, should, would are also used 
to help form the tenses of other verbs. These 
helping verbs are called auxiliary verbs (L. 
auxilium help), and a verb is no more than an 
auxiliary if it (1) helps another verb to form a 
tense and (2) gives up its own meaning in order 
to do so. The verb to be helps to form every 
tense of a principal verb (that is, a verb which 
is not an auxiliary) except the simple tenses. 

notice about these verbs is that they are by Other auxiliaries help special tenses. Shall 

themselves incomplete. They do not tell us 
anything about the subject until more words 
are added to them. John is, by itself, has 
no meaning ; it is not until you add a big 
boy for his age that you know anything about 

and will are used with future tenses, do is used 
in questions, have is used in perfect tenses, 
may, might, should, and would are used to 
give the verb a subjunctive mood meaning. 
(1) I am working. 


(2) He was not trying. 

(3) You will be brought back at seven o'clock. 

(4) Do you like toffee ? Did Joan enjoy 

herself ? 

(5) If I may come to-morrow I should like 


(6) He has been seen here to-night. 

You will see from sentences 3 and 6 that 
auxiliary verbs can help one another to form 
a tense for a principal verb. In sentence 3 
will and be are both used, in sentence 6 has 
(part of the verb to have) and been (part of the 
verb to be). 

There is nothing to prevent auxiliary verbs 
from being used as principal verbs also, 
and they are so used. The verb to have 
is very often a principal verb : 

Terry has over a thousand foreign 

Here has is a principal verb, and means 
possesses, and takes an object like any transi- 
tive verb of action. 

You all know the use of to do as a 
principal verb ; this verb, like to have, takes 
an object : 

Jack is doing his home-work. 

Joan is doing her hair. 

There are quite a few other common 
verbs which we use almost as auxiliaries, 
such as can, must, get, but they are not true 
auxiliaries, even in such slang phrases as 
" Once I get going I am all right," because 
they do not entirely give up their own 
meaning. Once I get going means almost the 
same as Once I am going, but not quite. Can 
always keeps its own meaning of to be able, 
and must always gives the idea of being 
compelled. In such a familiar phrase as : 

You must be a silly to think so, 

there is always the idea, not simply that the 
person spoken to is silly, but that if he thinks 
so there is no hope for him, he is bound to 
be silly. 

We have not thought it necessary to say 
much about the fact that many verbs, chiefly 
auxiliary verbs and verbs expressing a state, 
have not got all the tenses they should have, 
in order to be conjugated completely. We 
have taken it for granted that you know this. 

The history of some of these verbs is very 
interesting. Ought, for example, used to 
be the past simple tense of owe, while some 
of the forms of the verb to be are Old English, 
and some are Danish. That is why you get 
are and be, two words quite unlike, as parts 
of the same verb. 

We are always adding new verbs to our 
already numerous collection. Whenever we 
want one for an invention or for a discovery, 

we make one up, sometimes from Greek or 
Latin, such as to motor, sometimes from our 
own old language, such as to broadcast. 
Frequently we find the name or noun first, 
and then turn it into a verb, such as to 
engineer from engine, or to picnic from picnic. 
In addition to these special new verbs, 
we have a habit in English of adding a 
word any other part of speech except a 
conjunction or an interjection to a verb, 
and making another verb with a different 
or a more particular meaning. Many of these 
compound verbs are now so commonly used 
that no one thinks of them as compounds. 
Particularly is this the case when the other 
word comes in front and is joined to the verb. 

Tell father all about it. He will quite 

When the word comes after we do not 
usually join it to the original verb. But 
the added word is used so regularly with the 
verb that the whole phrase must be considered 
as one verb. Thus we say to make friends, 
to look round, to stare about, to get ready, 
to pick u />. to lie down, to laugh at. Hundreds 
of examples might be given. Sometimes 
an added word makes an intransitive verb 

(1) Jill was laughing loudly (no object 


(2) Jill was laughing at the poor old mother 

hen (the poor old mother hen object). 

Sometimes the result is the other way round. 

(1) The ice-cream man makes good ice- 

cream (good ice-cream object). 

(2) The Greeks made war frequently (no 

object intransitive). 

This adding of words is a very useful 
habit, for it enables us to say very clearly 
and exactly what we mean. It gives us a 
sense of being free to pick and choose our 
words, and to make our language do what 
we want it to do, express our thoughts. We 
do not feel always bound to use the same 
word. It allows us to express what are 
called shades of meaning. You know that 
there are only three primary colours, but that 
there is an uncountable number of shades. 
So it is with language. There are shades 
of meaning so slightly different from others 
that only the most careful choice of words 
will make it possible to express them. And 
in a language which is not flexible, that is, 
easily made to bend to the speaker's or 
writer's touch, these shades of meaning 
cannot be expressed. English is probably the 
most flexible language now used, and of all its 
parts of speech probably the verb can be 
most easily bent for your particular purposes. 




John was behaving 


The Important Ways in which they Assist Verbs and other Parts of Speech 

' I "HE general in command of an army, 
1 the admiral in command of a fleet, 
the manager of a large business, the 
headmaster or headmistress of a large 
school, are all people with very important 
work to do. Their work is to plan, to control, 
and to supervise. They have people under 
them who obey their orders, and who carry 
out their plans. Very often these subordinates 
seem to do more of the actual work than 
the commander does. But it is the man at 
the top who directs 
everything, and sees 
that all is going well. 

A general decides 
that his army shall 
attack an enemy posi- 
tion ; he decides the 
day and the hour of the 
attack, and how many 
men and guns will be 
needed. He gives his 
orders, and his staff sets 
about arranging how the 
men, and the guns, and 
the ammunition, and the 
food for the men are to 
be got to the right spot 
at the right time. 

A headmaster or 
headmistress decides 
what lessons and what 
games shall take place 
at school, how many 
classes there shall be, 
who shall be in charge of each class, and 
draws up the time-table. But the actual work 
and games are carried on by the teachers and 
the girls and boys, and the way in which 
they perform their parts has a great influence 
on the school. ' 

A manager of a business decides to arrange 
a big advertising campaign to make his 
goods widely known. He settles how much 
money shall be spent, and in what towns or 
villages, and works out a rough idea of the 
kind of advertisement he wants. Then he 
calls in the advertisement writers and the 
publicity agents (men whose business it is to 
make people and goods known to the public), 
and they perfect his idea and arrange the 
details of the campaign. 

You see, the commander gives the general 
plans and sees that they are carried out, and 

The adverb badly is formed from the adjective 

his staff arranges and works out details, and 
modifies or changes the plans where neces- 
sary. Now, that is something like what hap- 
pens in the sentence. The verb, you were 
told, is the general, the commander ; you 
may, if you like, call the adverb its chief of 
the staff. A verb predicates a general idea : 

(1) Joan will come. 

(2) Father is wording 

(3) John was bowling. 

and the adverb fills in the details by telling 
us how, or when, or where the action is per- 
formed. Let us add ad- 
verbs to these sentences. 

(1) Joan will come to- 

morrow (time). 

(2) Father is working 

downstairs (place). 

(3) John was bowling 

badly (manner). 

These are the three 
chief ways in which an 
adverb can assist a verb, 
by telling the time, or 
the place, or the manner 
or quality (how it is 
done) of an action. An 
adverb of manner or 
quality answers the 
question how P An ad- 
verb of time answers 
one of the questions 
when ? how long P how 
often P 

(1) The county cricket 
season began 

(2) These flowers are always in bloom. 

(3) A flower show is held yearly in our village. 

An adverb of place answers one of the four 
questions where, from which place, whence ; 
to which place, whither ; in what order ? 

(1) The strawberry bed is here. 

(2) Whence cometh all evil. "^Adverbs not 

(3) " ( Come hither," he said, f often used 

my pretty maid." ) to-day. 

(4) Roy came third in the examination. 

But these are not the only kinds of work 
it is possible for an adverb to do. It can tell 
you the number, exact or indefinite, of times 
an action is performed. 

(1) George once found a sparrow-hawks 

nest here. 

(2) Jill seldom makes that mistake. 

Or it may tell you how much, in what 
quantity, or to what degree. 

(1) You are quite wrong. 

(2) Robert scarce/o knew where he was going 


Or it may tell you of the certainty or 
uncertainty of an action. One adverb in this 
class, the word no/, you will notice, is very 
certain, so certain that it completely contra- 
dicts the statement the verb makes ! 

(1) Perhaps your mother will let you come. 

(2) I shall not go, whatever you say. 


WHEN does fhe next bus 

When is an adverb which asks the question : " At 
what time ? " 

The words Yes and No are generally included 
in this class of adverbs of certainty, though 
they are short substitutes for whole sentences. 

Did you buy that ball at Wilson's ? 
Yes. (=1 did buy that ball at Wilson's.) 

You will see that the adverb does for the 
verb very much what .the adjective does 
for the noun. It makes more exact the idea 
of the particular action or state predicated 
by the verb, just as an adjective makes the 
idea of a particular thing more exact. By so 
doing it cuts down the number of varieties 
of action the verb can apply to, just as an 
adjective cuts down the number of kinds of 
things a noun can apply to. When we say 

.John bowled or John was bowling, 
we can imagine any kind of bowling, but when 
we say 

John was bowling swiftly and badly, 
we immediately cut out slow, medium, and 
good bowling, and think only of swift and 
bad bowling. 

Adverbs are very much like adjectives, but 
in many ways they have a bigger job. They 
do" not become verbs, whereas adjectives 
.often become nouns, but on the -other hand 
they are not content with helping verbs, 
but are ready to help other adverbs, adjectives, 
prepositions, and conjunctions. 

(1) Mary plays the violin extremely well 

(extremely helping Well, another adverb). 

(2) I am sure you will be very braoe 

(very helping brave, adjective) 

(3) When we got home we found Toby, 

our fox terrier, sitting just outside the 
front gate (just helping outside, 

(4) Now tell me exactly how it happened 

(exactly helping how, conjunction). 
Note : -It depends on how this is said as to 
whether exactly helps tell or how. 

Adverbs will even go so far as to help, or 
qualify or modify a whole sentence : 
Unfortunately I haven't got any money ! 
but they draw the line at qualifying nouns or 
pronouns. That they leave entirely to the 

Adverbs can, of course, be used in questions. 
Then they are sometimes called interrogative 

(1) When does the next bus leave here? 

(2) How do you know that ? 

The chief interrogative adverbs are when ? 
where? how? why? When these adverbs 
are used in indirect questions or at the 
beginning of a clause you will see that they 
have a job to do which is very similar to that 
of a relative pronoun or a conjunction. 
They are as much conjunctions as adverbs. 

(1) Can you tell me where I shall find 


(2) Let me tell you how it happened. 

(3) This is the time when the leaves die. 

For this reason these adverbs are often 
called relative or connective adverbs, but they 
are exactly the same words as the interrogative 
adverbs. All other adverbs are called simple 
adverbs. Relative adverbs, like relative 


It is freezing 

Here the adverb hard tells how it was freezing. 

pronouns, have an antecedent which has 
the same annoying habit of often leaving 
itself out, as you will see from sentences 
(1) and (2) above and when can sometimes, 
generally in conversation, be understood : 
Tell us .the day (when) you are coming. 


i Ufae fide icas coming in 

If tjou can 
catclt (lu> 
FAST train 

ID the first of these pictures fast is used as an adverb, and tells how the tide was coining in. In the 

second picture fast is an adjective. 

Adverbs are very like adjectives, as we said, 
and so it is not surprising to find that by far 
the largest class of adverbs is formed directly 
from adjectives. From every adjective of 
quality (with just a few exceptions such as 
little and other words which would sound too 
ugly) we can form an adverb by adding 
-ly. Strong becomes strongly, beautiful becomes 
beautifully, and so on. If the adjective already 
ends in -y, we change the letter into -i, and 
then add -ly. So healthy becomes healthily, 
pretty, prettily. If the adjective already ends 
in -/, we add -ly just the same. (This will 
help you in your spelling.) All those adjectives 
which end in -fvl, such as graceful, awful, 
have one / only, but the adverbs formed 
from them, gracefully, awfully, have two. 
The same rule applies to all those adjectives 
ending in -al, such as local, continual, which 
give the adverbs locally, continually. If an 
adjective ends in -//, we either add -y only, as 
in full, fully, or avoid making an adverb 
from it, as with small. 

It is clear that the numeral adverbs, once, 
twice, thrice, are formed from the numeral 
adjectives, one, two, three, and firstly, secondly, 
thirdly, etc., from first, second, third, etc. 

Quite a number of common adverbs of 
quality do not add -ly, but use exactly the 
same form as the corresponding adjectives. 
Such words as fast, hard (hardly has now 
quite a different meaning from hard), half, 
near, are examples. 

(1) John jumped on his bicycle and rode 

hard to the town (adverb). 
That was hard luck ! (adjective). 

(2) The tide was coming in fast (adverb). 
If you can catch the fast train you will 

do it (adjective). 

(3) The village is quite near (adverb). 

The near side of the road (adjective). 
Like adjectives again, adverbs of quality or 
manner have three degrees of comparison. 
These are exactly the same, positive, compara- 
tive, and superlative, and they are formed in 
exactly the same ways, by adding er, 
to form the comparative and est to form the 
superlative of short adverbs, and by using the 
words more and most with longer ones. 
Some of the commonest adverbs, like some of 
the commonest adjectives (they are the corre- 
sponding words often), are compared irregu- 
larly, that is, they have taken over the com- 
paratives and superlatives of other words. 
You know them quite well. Such words as 

Positive : Much. Comparative : More. 
Superlative : Most. 

Positive : 111, Comparative : Worse. 
Superlative : Worst. 

One adverb, rather, is not compared. It is 
itself an old comparative form. 

As with other parts of speech, we are not 
content in English to leave adverbs in peace 
to do adverbs' work, but often compel them 
to do also the jobs of other words. We 
noticed above that relative adverbs were 
working like relative pronouns or con- 
junctions. Those words we have just men- 
tioned, fast, near, half, we may consider 
either as adjectives or as adverbs. We also 
make many adverbs do duty as prepositions. 
That word near, in particular, is quite a 
maid of all work. 

(1 ) I like the nearer of the two better (noun). 

(2) The aeroplane neared the landing place 


(3) The near neighbourhood is charming 


(4) The house is somewhere near (adverb). 



(5) The school in the Middle Ages was 
always near the church (preposition). 

Noun, verb, adjective, adverb, pre- 
pcsition poor hard-worked word ! It is 
chiefly adverbs of place, such as near, under, 
below, above, in, out, inside, outside, which 


In the sentence " the postman knocked twice," 
twice is an adverb denoting number. 

we make work as prepositions. In fact, you 
can call these words either adverbs or pre- 
positions, just as you like, in the same way as 
you can call which or what either an adjective 
or a pronoun. It all depends, as usual, on how 
the word is used. If below, for example, is 
used to show that one thing is below another, 
it is a preposition : 

(1) The sugar is bslow the shelf. 

But if it is used to show where an action is 
performed, it is an adverb : 

(2) The captain sent the middy below. 

Now, the verb, our trusty general, needs a 
very great deal of assistance, and there are 
not nearly enough adverbs in our language 
for all its wants. So we are constantly forced 
to make use of adverbial phrases and ad- 
verbial clauses. These do exactly the same 
work as an adverb, but they consist of two or 
more words, and in a clause, as you know, 
there is always a verb. There are also noun 
phrases and clauses, and adjectival phrases 
and clauses, but we probably use more ad- 
verbial phrases and clauses than of these 
two kinds together. You see, we so often want 
to know or to explain how, or when, or where. 

An adverbial phrase very frequently con- 
sists of a preposition and a noun. 

(1) The children are playing under the 

bridge. (Where?) 

(2) Mother is coming in the evening. (When ?) 

(3) William can swim like a fish. (How ?) 

This is particularly so with adverbial phrases 
of place. We are always wanting to say in 
the cupboard, on the shelf, behind the door, 
at home, at school, round the corner, in the 
play-ground, and such phrases. And as 
the work of a preposition is to show the re- 
lation to each other in which things stand, it is 
only to be expected that they should be largely 
used in making adverbial phrases of place. 

An adverbial clause is a complete sentence 
which does the work of an adverb. It is, 
like all other clauses, subordinate, that is, 
under the command of the principal verb. 

(1) He will get on when he learns to work 

hard (time). 

(2) You will succeed wherever you go (place). 

(3) Boys should work as hard as they 

play (manner). 

Adverbial clauses are used to express many 
other things besides time, place, and manner. 
They can, for instance, show cause : 

(1) John worked hard because he wanted the 


or effect : 

(2) Joan had run so long that she was tired. 
or condition : 

(3) Do come with us if you are allowed. 
But you will see that when you get to clauses 

you are really getting something more than 
you could expect from a single word. We have 
to call these adverbial clauses, because it is 
perfectly true that they do the work of an 


can swm 

Adverbial phrases often consist of a preposition 
and a noun, as, for example, like a fish. 

adverb, but they are rather like giant adverbs 
than ordinary ones. A giant may lift half a ton 
from the ground, but the ordinary man has 
to be content if he can manage a hundred- 
weight. It is the same work, lifting, only 
a good deal more of it. 



Words that Join and Govern, and the Lonely Interjections , 

YOU can hardly travel many miles on 
any railway to-day without coming to 
a junction, and when you are on a journey, 
and have to change trains, it is almost always 
at a junction that you do so. That is because 
at a junction one or more lines meet. 

Now, are the lines you find meeting at a 
junction of equal importance ? Not usually. 
Generally you will find 
that at a junction one, 
two, or even more 
branch lines meet the , . , 

line on which %** " smal1 BUT he can jump /ugh 


main line on 
the principal trains 
travel. Those branch 
lines are often quite 
short, and pass through 
quite unimportant small 
towns and villages. They 
would never have been 
built had not the main 
line been near at hand, 
and they are dependent 
upon it. Their business 
is to bring passengers 
and goods to it. Yet 
they are very necessary 
to it. No main line 
would be so important 
without the branch lines 
which run to meet it. 

Sometimes it happens that two or more 
great main lines meet at a junction, as they 
do at Crewe or Trent Junction in England, or 
at Edinburgh in Scotland. But whichever 
happens, whether main lines join or branch 
lines join the main line, there is always a 
station at the junction. 

Now, this is exactly what happens in every 
sentence which is not a simple sentence. A 
simple sentence is one which has only one 
predicate. Most of our sentences are not 
simple. They are either compound or complex. 
A compound sentence is one in which two 
main lines, that is, two principal sentences, are 
joined into one. Suppose we take two simple 
sentences : 

(1) Jack went home at five o'clock. 

(2) Jack ate a huge tea. 

Now, if you run those two sentences together 
into one, using a junction word, or con- 
junction, as it is called, to connect them, 
you get : 

Jack went home at five o'clock and ate a 
huge tea. 

But is a co-ordinating or sentence-joining 

conjunction which contrasts one statement 

with another. 

This, you will see, is a compound sentence, 
one in which two main lines are joined, for 
each of the two statements is of equal value, 
in grammar, that is to say. No doubt Jack 
thought eating the huge tea of much greater 
importance than going home ! But in gram- 
mar we are dealing simply with words and 
sentences, and not with the value of the 
thoughts those words 
, and sentences express. 
I These two sentences, for 
example : 

(1) War broke out 


(2) Jack fell down 


are equal in grammar. 
Both are simple 
sentences, though be- 
tween the importance 
of their meanings there 
can be no possible 

Conjunctions which 
join together two 
sentences of equal value 
are called co-ordinating 
conjunctions. The word 
c o-o r d i n a t i n g means 
" placing in rows side 
by side." The com- 
monest of the co-ordinating conjunctions 
are and, but, still, yet, for, or, nor. Or and 
nor are often used with either and neither, as 
Neither you nor George is quite right. 

Most grammar books tell you that co- 
ordinating conjunctions join together words 
as well as sentences. So they do, but if you 
look closely into the matter you will see 
that actually they are joining sentences all 
the time, only their use makes it possible to 
omit nearly all of one of the two sentences. 

Jack and Jill went up the hill. 

And here seems simply to be joining the 
words Jack, /'# but if you pick the sentence 
to pieces you will find it to be really two. 

(1) Jack went up the hill. 

(2) Jill went up the hill. 

The use of and makes it unnecessary to 
say went up the hill twice. 

Co-ordinating conjunctions are very simple 
to understand. They join one sentence to 
another, and they show us (1) that one state- 
ment is simply added to the other : 

(1) Jack fell down and broke his crown, 



or (2) that one statement is contrasted with 
the other : 

(2) Henry is small but he bowls well. 
There are no clouds, yet I am afraid 

it will rain. 

or (3) that there is a choice to be made 
between the two statements : 

(3) Run home now or you will be late 

for dinner. 

or (4) that one statement is the natural 
result of the other : 

(4) Lucy will win the prize, /or she wins 

every time she competes. 


Joyce makes dolls dotlies 
better THAN Mary does 

Than, in this sentence, makes a comparison 
between the needle-work of Joyce and Mary. 

But when we come to subordinating 
conjunctions we come to a rather more diffi- 
cult matter. Subordinating means placing 
one row under (the command of) another. 
When we use a subordinating conjunction 
it is to enable a branch line to meet a main 
line, that is, a clause to meet a principal 
sentence, or, if not a principal sentence, 
at any rate a clause of superior importance. 
If we say 

Lucy will win the prize because she 
has worked so hard, 

we make rather a different kind of sentence 
from that which we made a moment ago. 
The sentence 

Lucy will win the prize, for she wins 
every time she competes, 
contains two sentences of equal value. 

(1) Lucy will win the prize. 

(2) She wins every time she competes. 

But the sentence 

Lucy will win the prize because she has 
worked so hard 
is made up of one principal sentence 

(1) Lucy will win the prize, 

to which is added the reason or the cause 

(2) She has worked so hard, 

which supports the principal sentence. This 
clause, she has worked so hard, is dependent 
upon, or subordinate to, the principal sentence. 

It has not a complete meaning apart from the 
principal sentence. 

Conjunctions which make their clauses 
show cause or reason are called causal. The 
chief ones are because, since, as, and for. 
Both since and as, as well as for, can be used 
to show other meanings. In the sentence : 

He is as cute as they make them, 
as does not show cause, but comparison. 
Another comparative conjunction is than. 

Margaret plays hockey better than 
Jane (does). 

With than, you will notice, the verb in the 
clause can often be omitted. 
In the sentence : 

I have not played tennis since I was 
at home last, 

since shows time. Other conjunctions of 
time are while, when, before. 

Before the bell had finished ringing, he 
jumped out of bed. 

Where, whence, wherever, show place. 

Margery would not tell us where she had 

The chief conjunction to show effect or 
result is that. 

Jack ran so well that he won the race 

But the same word may also be used to show 

Jack ran hard that he might be certain of 

To show purpose that is often enlarged 
into so that or in order that. 


/ hare a cat AND a bird 

And is a co-ordinating conjunction which adds one 
statement to another. 

(1) We will go very early, so that we may 

spend all day there. 

(2) Mary was walking quickly, in order that 

she might not be late. 

The conjunctions if and unless show that 
there is a condition attached to the principal 

(1) I will come if it does not rain. 

(2) Unless you play fair, I shall go home. 



You will notice that it is not always neces- 
sary for the principal sentence to come first. 
In many sentences, and with all kinds of 
conjunctions, it comes after the subordinate 
clause. Sometimes it does not much matter 
which you place first. 

Another important class of conjunctions, 
of which the commonest is although, shows 
that when we have made our principal state- 
ment we must draw back a little from all it 
means, or subtract something from its mean- 
ing. This is called making a concession, and 
such conjunctions are called concessive : 

(1) This is a good exercise of yours, although 

it is badly written. 

(2) However much you praise him, Colin 

is never satisfied. 

So you see that in addition to joining to- 
gether a principal sentence and a subordinate 
clause, a subordinating conjunction also 
gives one of at least eight separate meanings 
to the clause which follows it. And the 
meaning of the clause depends almost entirely 
upon the meaning of the conjunction. Notice 
the contrast between these two sentences, 
which, except for the conjunction, consist 
of exactly the same words : 

(1) Although he had found his way out 

of the wood, John was still afraid. 

(2) When he had found his way out of the 

wood, John was still afraid. 

The first sentence suggests that John was still 
afraid because of the fright the wood had given 
him, but the second suggests that there was 
something else still to be afraid of. 

Boys and girls often declare that they 
do not know conjunctions from prepositions, 
probably because when they are learning 
about words a very great deal of time is 
spent over verbs, nouns and pronouns, 
adjectives and adverbs, and then the re- 
maining parts of speech are all lumped 
together, and thought of as " the other 
words." Probably, too, it is because they are 
considered the " little " words and " the 
words that don't matter much." They do 
matter, though, and the job of a preposition 
is quite different from that of a conjunction. 
This is shown clearly by the fact that scarcely 
ever are conjunctions used as prepositions or 
prepositions as conjunctions. Such a change 
does occur occasionally, of course (almost 
anything can happen to a word in our lan- 
guage, as we saw from the example of the 
word near), but only very rarely. 

It is really much easier to confuse pre- 
positions with adverbs, and there is a great 
deal more excuse for doing so, because nearly 
all prepositions can be used as adverbs. 


Prepositions are always used with nouns. Here 
up is the preposition, and tree the noun. 

In this sentence info is the preposition and boat 
the noun. 

We walked 
ALONG tlie pie/ 

Along is one of the commonest of preposition*. 
It is here used with the noun pier. 



(This does not mean that nearly all adverbs 
can be used as prepositions. They cannot ; 
those ending in ly are never used as preposi- 
tions.) But if ever you find yourself confused, 
the great point to remember is that an 
adverb is never used with a noun or pro- 
noun, but a preposition always is. In fact, 
every preposition is said to govern the noun 
or pronoun with which it is used, and in a 
very real sense it does govern it. In the 
sentences : 

fl) The cat is under the table. 
2) Jack is sitting on Gilbert. 
(3) The cattle are in the field, 
the words under, on, and in certainly put 
table, Gilbert, and field in their right places. 
And they certainly make you understand 
the relation between cat and table, Jack an< ^ 



i/ou will wake the baby 

Hash may be used as a verb but here it is an 

Gilbert, cattle and field. Table, Gilbert, and 
field are said to be the objects of the pre- 
positions under, on, and in. In languages 
in which nouns change their endings to show 
case, the noun governed by the preposition 
has to show by its ending that it is gov- 
erned. This still happens in English with 

(1) Give^he best apple to her. 

(2) That's the fellow from whom I got the 


Putting things in their right place, then, or, 
as we say in grammar, showing the relation 
between them, is the job of a preposition ; 
and as prepositions are always dealing with 
things, it follows that they can only be used 
with nouns or substitutes for nouns. That 

is nearly all that need be said concerning 
them. There is no need to try to divide 
them up into classes according to the way in 
which they do their work, for they all do it 
in the same way. Nor is it any use to try to 
divide them according to their meanings, 
for each of them has its own meaning, and 
keeps to it quite faithfully. 

We can, if we like, divide them according 
to their form, and call in, on, at, by, to, 
through, from, and the like simple prepositions, 
and into, upon, inside, outside, within, com- 
pound prepositions, because they happen 
each to consist of two words,, but such 
a division is really only useless labour, for 
into and the rest have been written as single 
words so long that no one thinks of them as 
two. It is useful, however, to remember that 
we make a number of present participles 
act as prepositions : 

(1) Considering the circumstances, Helen 

was lucky to get off so lightly. 

(2) During the cricket match rain fell 


During is the present participle of the verb 
to dure, meaning to last, which we do not use 
to-day, though we often use the adjective 
durable and the noun duration. 

There is one part of speech which no one 
is ever likely to confuse with any other, 
and that is the interjection. Some people say 
that the interjection is not really a part of 
speech at all, but only a cry. Yet there seems 
to be no very good reason for refusing it a 
place among our parts of speech. 

The word interjection means something 
thrown between or among, and interjections 
are really exclamations or cries which some 
sharp feeling causes you to make. When you 
are thoroughly happy and pleased over some- 
thing you cry Hurrah ! When you are sur- 
prised, or hurt, or sorry you exclaim Oh I or 
Ah I When you are disgusted you exclaim 
Pooh! or Pah! or Bah! 

We have not many interjections which 
are recognized as words, though, of course, 
there are many sounds, such as Ee ! ooh ! 
ov) ! which are classed as interjections 
when they are written down or printed. 

Some of our interjections are really short 
forms of whole sentences, though many 
people do not know it. Good-bye is a 
shortened form of God be with you, Good- 
morning is God give you good morning. 

No interjection helps or has any effect 
upon any other part of speech, and an 
interjection is not considered as a part of a 




How we Find the Relationship that Exists among Words 

IT is our task here to try to show that 
parsing and analysis are not such dull, 
horrid exercises as many boys and girls 
imagine, that it is not very difficult to learn 
to parse and analyse, and most important 
of all that a knowledge of how to parse and 
analyse is absolutely necessary for anyone 
who wants to understand his own or any 
other language. 

Let us start right from the beginning. We 
parse words, and we analyse sentences. We 
ask questions about them. The word parse 
itself comes from a Latin question consisting 
of three words, quae pars orationis? meaning, 
what part of speech ? That is the first 
question we ask about a word when we parse 
it. But we ask two other questions also, 
(i) Has it any special endings (inflexions), and 
if so, why ? (ii) In what way is it connected 
with, or, how does it work with, the other 
words in the sentence ? And we ask these 
questions so that we can find out the special 
duty of each word. 

In the chapters on the parts of speech you 
have read about inflexions and conjugations, 
of number and gender, of mood and tense, 
and so on. We use this knowledge in parsing. 
Let us parse one or two words : 

(i) The boy fell down, 
(ii) He was not hurt. 

Take the word boy, and think of our three 
questions. We can easily answer them, 
(i) It is a noun, (ii) It has no inflexions, 
(iii) It is the subject of the sentence, fell is 
its predicate, and the is its adjective. Let us 
put that knowledge in order and add one or 
two other points. We get : 

BOY : Noun, Common, Singular, Masculine, 
Nominative (Subjective) Case, Subject of fell. 

Now consider fell and was, and answer the 
three questions again, (i) They are verbs, 
(ii) They are inflected to show time (and 
number in was), (iii) Fell is the predicate of 
its sentence, was is part of the predicate. 
Now, using our knowledge of verbs, let us 
parse them fully. 

FELL : Verb, Intransitive, Active, Indicative, 
Simple Past Tense, Singular, Third Person, 
Predicate to boy. 

That's simple, but what about was ? No 
more difficult, though there are two ways of 
tackling it. You may parse the two words 
was hurt together as part of the verb to hurt, 

or you may take was by itself as an auxiliary 

WAS HURT : Verb, Transitive, Passive, Indicative, 
Simple Past Tense, Singular, Third Person, 
Predicate to he. 

or : 

WAS : Verb, Auxiliary, Indicative, Past Tense, 
Singular, Third Person ; assisting hurt to form 
Predicate of he. 

Deal with other parts of speech in the same 
way, but according to their special work ; say 
the noun an adjective qualifies, the verb an 
adverb modifies, and so on. 

In parsing these nouns and verbs we have 
used the words subject and predicate. That 
means we have analysed the sentences in 
which they occur. We have to ; we must 
analyse in order to parse, and parse in order 
to analyse, because words make sentences, 
and sentences are only words working 
together like a team. You can't go to a 
dictionary, pick out a stray word, and parse 
it ; you must take that word from a sentence. 

Now, the very word analysis suggests to 
many boys and girls something quite horrible 
and impossible to understand. But actually 
all of us are analysing practically every 
moment of our lives except when we are 
asleep. The word analysis comes from two 
Greek words, ana and lysis, meaning a 
breaking up (not smashing up ! We are not 
suggesting that everybody goes about all the 
time breaking things !). Let us explain. 

If we see a motor-bus, we see one motor- 
bus, but our eyes and minds immediately 
break up that motor-bus into its various 
parts ; we see tonneau, body, wheels, 
windows, driver, conductor, passengers, the 
colour of the bus, and a host of other things. 
The second we look at that bus, we make an 
incredibly swift and thorough analysis of it. 
Suppose the bus had a broken window, how 
quickly we should notice it ! We are so 
accustomed to motor-buses that we analyse 
them almost automatically, without effort. 

We use sentences much more often than 
we use motor-buses, so we ought to be able 
to analyse them at least as easily and as 
thoroughly and accurately. So we can, if we 
look at them with equal care. Every sentence 
consists of two parts, subject and predicate, 
just as every motor-car consists of chassis 
and body. There may be any number of 
accessories or additional fittings on your 
motor-car ; so there may be in your sentence. 


But there is no reason why you should not 
recognise the subject and the predicate, and 
the noun phrases and clauses, the adjective 
phrases and clauses and the adverb phrases and 
clauses which are so often built into the 
subject and predicate, just as easily as you 
recognize the padded cushions, the lamps, 
the mudguards, etc., on a motor-car. 

Let us build up a sentence, and pick it to 
pieces again as we build. 
Boys eat. 

Two words ; a subject and a predicate. 
As simple a sentence as we can get. You can 
analyse that sentence almost without thought. 
Let us add some accessories or additional 

Greedy little boys eat quickly. 

The adjectives greedy and little qualify boys ; 
the adverb quickly modifies eat. We have 
now a subject consisting of three words, a 

predicate of two ; boys and eat being the 
foundations. We can arrange our analysis 
as in Example I. 

Some more accessories : 

Greedy little boys who have no manners eat 
their food quickly. 

Here we have added another enlargement to 
the subject and an object to the predicate. 
We have also introduced another verb. So 
the sentence is now complex, as the new clause 
is a subordinate one. Example 2 shows 
our analysis. 

If a sentence is compound it consists of two 
clauses of equal grammatical value. The 
analysis of a compound sentence presents very 
little difficulty. But many sentences are both 
compound and complex. They are analysed 
as in Example 3. 

Greedy little boys who have no manners eat 
their food quickly and do not digest it properly. 


Kind of 








Greedy . . . 
. . . quickly 






Example 1. Analysis of a simple sentence. 


Kind of 








of Object. 

Greedy . . . 
. . . quickly 



who have no 






who . . . 
. . manners 






Example 2. Analysis of a compound sentence. 


Kind of 








of Object. 

Greedy . . . 
. . . quickly 



who have no 





who . . . 
. . . manners 







with 1 






Example 3. Analysis of a compound and complex sentence. 




Making a Sentence Express Exactly what you Want it to Mean 

SUPPOSE that one day you were to 
receive a letter, and when you opened 
it you found that it was written like this : 


It would be a bit of a shock. Yet, as 
you will see when you have found out that 
it is not written in a sort of secret code, this 
letter is really quite well put together. 

Here it is as you would expect to see it. 

Dear Jack and Jill, 

We are having a grand outdoor party 
next Wednesday. Can you come ? Father 
is going to take us all to Clacton in the car. 

We are going to start at half-past three. 
Please do not be late. 

From your sincere friend, 

George Robinson. 

That is a little bit easier to read, is it not ? 
It makes you feel rather glad that you are 
living in the twentieth century, and not in 
the days when letters and books were written 
in capitals close together like the first example 
above. For hundreds and hundreds of 
years men were content to spell out the 
contents of a book or letter word by word. 

At length they must have begun to object, 
and to demand that what they had to read 
should be made easier to understand. Long 
before the birth of Christ various plans had 
been tried for breaking the endless succession 
of letters. One of these was to put a dot, or 
point, after each word, like this : 


Sometimes two dots, one above the other, 
were used, while in other cases a straight line 
was employed to separate the words, thus : 




In the end it was discovered that the 
easiest and clearest way to separate words 
was to leave a space between them, and 
this is the plan now always followed. 

But even before it was widely felt that 
words must be separated, a step had been 

made towards punctuation by cutting up the 
reading matter into paragraphs. You will, 
of course, notice how this chapter is arranged 
in this manner. Each part of the subject 
is given a paragraph. In books and writing 
to-day we show the beginning of a new para- 
graph by starting on a new line a little to the 
right of the beginning of the line above. 

When paragraphing was first introduced 
the beginning of a fresh paragraph was 
shown sometimes by leaving a whole blank 
line above, sometimes by ending the previous 
paragraph with a stroke or a wedge, or two 
or more dots. Later it became the custom 
to write the first letter of the new paragraph 
in the margin, and still later to make this 
first letter a big and often decorated capital, 
such as you still see as a rule at the beginning 
of a chapter in a book. 

Then the points or dots began to be 
used to mark off sentences and even parts 
of sentences. This was done probably to 
help the reader to pause at the right places, 
or to give the correct tone to a sentence. At 
first the position of the dot showed the 
pause to be made ; if it were placed high it 
equalled our full stop, if placed in the middle 
our comma, if placed low our semicolon. 

As writing grew smaller and smaller, it was 
very easy to make mistakes with any system 
like this, and so different kinds of points 
began to be used. The comma was intro- 
duced, and the semicolon. A question 
mark appeared, something like the one we 
use to-day. The first question mark is 
said to have been made by putting the first 
and last letters of the Latin word quaestio, a 
question, one above the other, like this : 



Although stops of various kinds were used 
hundreds of years before Christ, no fixed 
rules were laid down for them until after the 
invention of printing in the fifteenth century, 
A.D., nor was any one system of punctuation 
employed. Caxton, our first English printer, 
used three stops the comma, the colon, and 
the full stop but he evidently had no very 
definite rules to follow, and in some of the 
books he printed he put no stops at all. 

Even when Aldus Manutius, a member of 
a very famous Venetian family of printers, 
wrote in 1566 a book on punctuation, he did 
not attempt to make his rules much 



more than instructions. Even now it is 
impossible to give exact rules about any stop. 
The difficulty is this. We cannot use very 
many stops, or our pages would become 
nothing more than a hotch-potch of dots 
and dashes, twirls and loops. Yet there are 
two distinct purposes that we want our 
stops to serve. We want them first of all 
to help the reader to make the correct length 
of pause, and we want them also to assist 
the writer to make his meaning perfectly 
clear. Notice the difference, for example, 
between these two sentences : 

1. He gave the shilling to the boy who 
had had his hair cut. 

2. He gave the shilling to the boy, who 
had had his hair cut. 

The first sentence shows that there were 
a number of boys and that the one who had 
had his hair cut received the shilling. The 
second sentence implies that there was only 
one boy, and the fact that he had been to 
the barber's is simply noticed as being in- 
teresting. In the following two sentences, 
however, the insertion or omission of the 
comma makes no difference whatever ; the 
fact that it would almost always be found 
as in the first sentence is simply because the 
reader would pause slightly at that point. 

1. The car dashed recklessly down the 
narrow, crowded street. 

2. The car dashed recklessly down the 
narrow crowded street. 

A very safe instruction to begin with is : 
Use as few stops as you possibly can. 

We have in English only four true stops. 
These are the full stop or period (.), the 
colon ( : ), the semicolon ( ; ), and the comma 
( , ). A fifth stop is becoming very popular, 
the dash ( ), but on the other hand the 
colon is being less and less used. It is 
generally reckoned that the comma marks 
a pause equal to 1, the semicolon a pause 
equal to 2, the colon a pause of 3, and the 
full-stop or period a pause of 4. The length 
of pause the dash indicates is not so definite, 
but it is longer than that for the comma. 

We use also a point of interrogation or 
question mark (?) and a point of exclamation 
or exclamation mark (!). These two are not 
stops in themselves, but are enlargements of 
the full stop. They show the tone of the 
sentence : 

1 . You are really ready at last ? 

2. You are really ready at last ! 

The first sentence asks a question, the 
second shows the speaker's surprise or joy. 

The difference in speaking would be shown 
by the tone of the voice. 

For the sake of the reader, whenever a 
person's actual words are quoted, those 
words are placed within quotation marks or, 
as they are usually called, inverted commas. 
These quotation marks may be double 
(" ") or single (' '). Generally the 
double ones are used for ordinary quotations, 
and the single ones when they come within a 
sentence that is already marked by double 
ones. Only the actual words of the speaker 
are usually enclosed. 

To-morrow," said John, " is a whole 
holiday. When Frank heard this he cried. 
Hooray ! ' ' 

Parentheses ( ) are used to enclose a 
phrase or a clause which is put into a 
sentence to explain something in that sentence 
more fully, but which has no effect on the 
whole sentence. 

All the boys and girls in the school (and 
there are over 400 of them) contributed 
to the collection made on November 1 1th. 

Here the clause within the parentheses is 
put in to explain more fully the meaning 
of " All the boys and girls in the school." 
Nowadays it is quite common to find dashes 
used instead of parentheses. 

Brackets [ ] are used to enclose a correction, 
comment, or exclamation made by someone 
other than the writer of the original words. 

I saw him [the Prince of Wales] at the 
Mansion House." 

In this sentence, which is separated from 
its context or words that precede and 
follow it, " him " by itself would indicate 
no one in particular, so the name of the 
person referred to is shown in brackets. 
When it happens that words which should 
appear within parentheses come within 
other words that are already enclosed by 
parentheses the first set of parentheses is 
replaced by brackets ; thus : 

" John Brown holds the view [but 1 do not 
agree (see remarks on page 4)] that no one 
is exempt." 

The apostrophe ( ' ) and the hyphen ( - ) are 
also reckoned as parts of our system of 
punctuation. Both are used inside or 
attached to words, the apostrophe to show 
that one or more letters are omitted, and the 
hyphen to indicate a compound word. 

The mans hat blew off. (Originally the 
possessive case contained an e. Mans, 
therefore, equals man-es.) 

I wouldn't do that if I were you. 

(Wouldn't \vould not.) 
'Tis only a very little one. ('Tis it is.) 
'E ses ter me, 'e ses. ('E he.) 



The hyphen should be avoided whenever 
possible ; there is really no good reason 
for using it. Most of our common com- 
pound words, such as together, understand, 
armchair, teapot, can get on quite well without 
it, and even words like to-day, to-morrow, 
to-night, in which it is still regularly used, 
would look just as well if they were written 
today, tomorrow, tonight. Quite a good 
rule for the hyphen would be, " When in 
doubt, leave out." At least one great 
writer of English, George Bernard Shaw, 
has not only given up using hyphens but 
the apostrophe as well. 

The real difficulties in punctuation come 
in the use of the five (for we will include the 
dash) true stops. How and when are the 
full stop, the colon, the semicolon, the comma, 
and the dash to be used ? If it is impossible 
to give exact rules for their use, how 
is one to learn how to employ them 
correctly ? 

Well, no better first instruction can be 
given than this : Read a few books by 
writers of good English simply to notice how 
they punctuate their sentences. Have a 
look at books written by J. M. Barrie, Joseph 
Conrad, R. L. Stevenson, Eden Phillpotts, 
Conan Doyle, and Rudyard Kipling. 

These authors are mentioned simply as 
writers of good modern English ; it is not 
necessary to choose them above all others. 
Charles Dickens, Sir Walter Scott, He'nty, 
and Ballantyne are not recommended for the 
purpose, because they wrote a good many 
years ago, and as a rule used stops more 
freely than does the writer of to-day. There 
are fashions in punctuation just as there are 
in clothes, and the fashion at present is to 
use as few stops as possible. It is a very 
sound fashion, too. 

Then, remembering your authors, try 
your hand at making up sentences yourself 
and punctuating them. Most boys and girls, 
when they begin to write, are extremely fond 
of the comma, which they put in very 
frequently say, once or twice in every 
line and often where other stops would 
be more correct. They put in a full stop 
every now and then, but scarcely ever use a 
semicolon. The colon and the dash they 
seldom or never employ. But the writer 
of good English finds it necessary to use all 
these stops, so let us try to work out a few 
general rules for them.. 

Here is a passage from an imaginary 
letter written by a boy who is describing his 

holiday at Brighton. It is not punctuated 
in any way, except for apostrophes. 

I had a splendid holiday at Brighton I 
bathed in the sea every day and one day 
when it was very hot I went in three times 
we went to Eastbourne in a steamer called 
the Devonia and we had several splendid 
rides in a charabanc we went to Lewes 
Newhaven Worthing Littlehampton and 
Arundel there are two piers at Brighton 
the West Pier and the Palace Pier and on 
each there is a theatre and a concert hall 
I went to see Rose Marie on the West Pier 
and Dr. Syn on the Palace Pier the air at 
Brighton makes you feel awfully sleepy at 
first the morning after I got there I slept 
till past nine o'clock and I shouldn't have 
waked up then if Dad hadn't come in and 
said come on Jack are you going to sleep all 
day when I said is it time to get up Dad he 
roared with laughing and shouted time to 
get up I should think it is it's nearly ten 
o'clock and if you don't hurry you'll get 
no breakfast so look sharp my lad. 

Now let us split up that letter into its 
sentences. You know, of course, that you 
are supposed in the ordinary way to put a 
full stop at the end of each sentence. We 
will see how far that rule holds good, and 
what other punctuation marks are needed. 

1. I had a splendid holiday at Brighton. 

2. I bathed in the sea every day (and) 

3. One day when it was very hot I went in 

three times. 

4. We went to Eastbourne in a steamer 

called the Devonia (and) 

5. We had several splendid rides in a 


6. We went to Lewes Newhaven Worthing 

Littlehampton and Arundel. 

7. There are two piers at Brighton the West 

Pier and the Palace Pier (and) 

8. On each there is a theatre and a concert 


9. I went to see Rose Marie on the West 

Pier and Dr. Syn on the Palace Pier. 

10. The air at Brighton makes you awfully 

sleepy at first. 

11. The morning after I got there I slept 

till past nine o'clock (and) 

12. I shouldn't have waked up then if Dad 

hadn't come in and said come on Jack 
are you going to sleep all day. 

13. When I said is it time to get up Dad he 

roared with laughing and shouted time 
to get up. 

14. I should think it is. 

15. It's nearly ten o'clock (and) 

16. If you don't hurry you'll get no 


17. So look sharp my lad. 

If we were making a strict grammatical 
analysis we could divide this passage into 
yet more sentences, but we are at present 
aiming at punctuating it, so as to make it 
perfectly clear and very easily readable. 

Now, before coming to the actual stops 
you will notice that this letter can be divided 
into three parts. Part 1 is a general account 


of the boy's doings at Brighton. This ends 
at sentence 6 and with sentence 7 begins 
part 2, a description of the piers and the plays 
seen on them. Sentence 10 begins part 3, 
in which is described amusingly the effect 
of the strong sea air. So in our punctuated 
version there will be three paragraphs. 

As we have divided the passage into 
seventeen sentences we could have seventeen 
full stops, one at the end of each sentence. 
But this would make the reading rather 
choppy ; it would be something like playing 
staccato on the piano all the time. Besides, 
sentences 2 and 3 are very closely connected 
in thought, so are sentences 7 and 8, 1 1 and 
12, 15 and 16. In these cases, then, it will 
be better to keep the and which the boy wrote 
and separate the two parts of the compound 
sentence by a comma only. So we can 
get two rules to begin with. 

1. Put a full stop at the end of each 
sentence unless the next is closely con- 
nected in thought with it. 

2. Sentences closely connected in 
thought can be separated by a comma if a 
conjunction is used to link them. 

Rule 1 can always be broken if you want 
to give a short, sharp effect. Suppose you 
were talking to your dog. You could say : 

Be quiet ! Lie down ! Go to sleep ! 

Or suppose you were describing an exciting 
game in which events happened quickly. 
Here plenty of full stops would be excellent. 

First our side scored. Then the other side 
got a goal. That made one all. Then Reed 
raced down the wing. We all held our 

That gives exactly the ding-dong, back- 
ward and forward effect of the game. 

Now to return to our letter. We have 
decided that we must have three paragraphs 
and that we will use thirteen full stops. 
Now examine the thirteen sentences to see 
where commas are needed in addition to those 
we have already decided to use. The first 
obvious case is sentence 6, where we have 
a list of towns. You would naturally pause 
after each name. So we get Rule 3. 

3. Mark off names in a list by commas. 

This rule applies also to adjectives and 
verbs in a list. 

I love our long, low, creeper-covered 

He sang, laughed, and shouted as he ran. 

In sentence 7 another case for commas 
occurs. The phrase the West Pier and the 
Palace Pier is offered as a fuller explanation 
of the words two piers, and is said to be in 
apposition. (This word means placed side 
by side with.) It could therefore be put 

within parentheses. But in such cases 
commas are used as a shorter and easier 
means. As they are substituted for paren- 
theses, two commas must, of course, be 
used. We will attempt another rule. 

4. All words, phrases, and clauses which 
are used to explain or describe more fully 
objects or actions mentioned in the sentence, 
and which could be put within parentheses, 
can be marked off by commas. 

Here are two examples of such clauses : 

1 . The clown, whose cheeks were painted 
bright red, was received with roars of 

2. When you get to the village, which is 
only half a mile away, inquire at the post 

It is not absolutely necessary in all such 
cases to use commas, but you must insert 
either two or none. 

In sentence 12 Dad's words are quoted, 
introduced by and said, and in 13 Jack's 
words are introduced in the same way. 
It is usual to put commas before and after 
such explanatory clauses as he said, she 
answered, etc. This can give us Rule 5. 

5. When quoted words are broken by 
words indicating the speaker, the latter are 
enclosed by commas. 

We will now rewrite our passage, with 
punctuation. In addition to the stops we 
have decided to use, we will put quotation 
marks (inverted commas) round the spoken 
words, question marks after the questions, 
and exclamation marks after sentences 13 
and 14. We will also place quotation marks 
round the names of the steamer and the two 
plays, as is usually done in the case of titles 
of plays, books, poems, and articles from 
newspapers ; and the names of ships and 
hotels. The title is considered a quotation. 

I had a splendid holiday at Brighton. I 
bathed in the sea every day, and one day 
when it was very hot I went in three times. 
We went to Eastbourne in a steamer called 
the" Devonia." We had several splendid 
rides in a charabanc. We went to Lewes, 
Newhaven, Worthing, Littlehampton, and 

There are two piers at Brighton, the West 
Pier and the Palace Pier, and on each there 
is a theatre and a concert hall. I went to 
see " Rose Marie " on the West Pier and 
" Dr. Syn " on the Palace Pier. 

The air at Brighton makes you awfully 
sleepy at first. The morning after I got there 
I slept till past nine o'clock, and I shouldn't 
have waked up then if Dad hadn't come in 
and said, " Come on, Jack, are you going 
to sleep all day? " When I said, " Is it 
time to get up, Dad ? " he roared with 
laughing and shouted, " Time to get up ! 
I should think it is ! It's nearly ten o'clock, 
and if you don't hurry you'll get no break- 
fast. So look sharp, my lad." 


The omission of punctuation makes this sentence 

read as if King Charles walked after his head had 

been cut off. 

As the whole passage is supposed to be 
an extract from a letter, and so the actual 
words of the writer, inverted commas could 
be put at the beginning and end in addition 
to those used to indicate the speakers in 
conversation. In that case all the double 
quotation marks now appearing in the passage 
would be replaced by single quotation marks. 

Now, can we improve on the punctuation 
of the passage ? Can we, by using either of 
the other two stops, the semicolon or the 
colon, make it a better piece of writing ? 
Is there any place where a dash would be 
more effective than a comma ? We can rule 
out the colon straight away, because there is 
no place where this little-used stop could be 
inserted. But we might find one or two places 
where a semicolon would improve matters. 

The semicolon is a stop indicating a pause 
shorter than that of the full stop and longer 
than that of the comma. So, as the rules 
for stops are frequently not very definite or 
certain, it can often take the place either of a 
full stop or of a comma to shorten the pause 
in the first case, to lengthen it in the second. 
It cannot be used instead of the full stop 
at the end of a paragraph. It cannot be used 
instead of the comma separating names or 
adjectives in a list, nor can it be used in 
place of commas surrounding words, phrases, 
or clauses in apposition. Otherwise, except 
between quotations and in the special cases 
we shall mention later, there are practically 
no limits to its powers of taking over the job 
of a full stop or of a comma. 

You will notice that in the punctuated 
version of the letter we omitted the and 
between sentences 4 and 5, and separated 

The addition of a semicolon and a comma gives 

an entirely different, and the correct, meaning 

to the words. 

them by a full stop. Instead we might 
use a semicolon for the full stop and keep 
the and, as the idea of a journey runs through 
both sentences. 

We went to Eastbourne in a steamer 

called the " Devonia " ; and we had several 

splendid rides in a charabanc. 

Still better, perhaps, ' we might end 
sentence 4 with a full stop after " Devonia" 
and make sentences 5 and 6 into one sentence 
divided into two parts by a semicolon. 

We had several splendid rides in a chara- 
banc ; we went to Lewes, Newhaven, 
Worthing, Littlehampton, and Arundel. 

The last part of the passage, from where 
the father speaks for the second time to the 
end, might be made into one sentence by 
using two semicolons, one after is and 
another after breakfast. 

" Time to get up ! I should think it is ; 
it's nearly ten o'clock, and if you don't hurry 
you'll get no breakfast ; so look sharp, my 

In each case here we have used the 
semicolon to make a pause shorter, that is, 
we have used it instead of a full stop. This 
is the more frequent use of the semicolon, 
but it is also used to make a longer pause 
than the comma. We might have punctu- 
ated sentences 4 and 5 as follows : 

We went to Eastbourne in a steamer called 

the " Devonia," and we had several splendid 

rides in a charabanc. 

Often it is difficult to know whether a 
comma or semicolon would be better to 
mark off one clause in a sentence from 
another, but there is one case in which you 
can be sure that you are right in using semi- 
colons. That is when you put down two or 
more closely connected statements with 


different subjects, and do not use conjunctions 
to link them. 

You mustn't do that ; ~it's wrong ; you 
know it is. 

Salisbury is a lovely city ; its cathedral is 
the most beautiful in England, and the town 
contains many picturesque old houses. 
If \ve had omitted the and in the second 
sentence, another semicolon after England 
would have been necessary. As' you will 
see, it would be possible to use full stops 
instead of semicolons in all the cases above, 
but though to-day we like our sentences short, 
we do not care for them to be too short. 

No definite rule can be laid down regarding 
the colon. If you think that the pause 
indicated by a semicolon is not sufficient, 
and yet you still wish to keep your two 
statements in one sentence, use it. Sometimes 
when you wish to contrast two statements 
very sharply, you may find it useful. 

He said that I deliberately broke my 
word : it is not true. 

Or again, if you wish to sum up in a very 
short clause something you have said in more 
words before, you may separate the last 
clause from the rest by a colon. 

Deceive no one, cheat no one, steal from 
no one, lie to no one : be honest. 

But you need never go out of your way 
to put in a colon. The full stop, semicolon, 
and comma will supply all your ordinary 
needs. If ever you find it necessary to put 
in rather a long quotation it is usual to 
introduce it with a colon, so : 

As Mr. Robinson told us the other 

day : 

Whenever you go to, etc." 

Notice, the same stop, plus a dash, is used 
to introduce an example in a chapter like 
this when it begins a new paragraph. 

The dash is a handy stop almost too 
handy. Its first use is to show a sudden 
break in the sense ; the speaker or writer 
begins one sentence, and then breaks off and 
starts another, or he finishes in a different 
way from the one you would expect. 

I'm sure Jack is in the garden with no, 
there he is ! 

Be sure and come to-morrow that is, if 
you want to. 

Then it can be used instead of parentheses, 
and most writers to-day prefer it to them. 

No play was possible before lunch 
and even after there were several inter- 
ruptions in the match at the Oval. 

As there are no rules to decide exactly 
when it is necessary to use parentheses 
rather than commas to enclose a phrase or 
clause in apposition, so the dash is often 
used to show no more than a comma would. 

Some girls I don't know why always 
look neat. 

There are two piers at Brighton the 
West Pier and the Palace Pier. 

This is a' slack habit which you should 
not allow yourself to get into. Keep the 
dash for occasions when there is a real 
break in the sentence. Readers do not like 
to feel that they are for ever being pulled up 
short for no reason. It is like riding in a 
car with a man who is always changing gears 
and doing it badly. 

The dash is also used when you are 
putting down an imitation of a hesitating 
or stammering speaker : 

I er, that is, do er, you think er, 
we c-could go ? 

To punctuate successfully, you must 
examine carefully whatever you write, and 
decide exactly what length and what kind of 
pause you wish at each place where you think 
a stop is needed. Vary your punctuation 
according to what you are writing. If you 
wish to give a smooth, flowing impression, 
use as few stops and as light (that is, commas 
in preference to semicolons and semicolons 
in preference to full stops) as possible ; if you 
wish to give a short, sharp, hurried impres- 
sion, punctuate freely and heavily. 

Whenever a word is contracted a full stop 
is placed at the end. 

Nos. 1 and 2 (Nos. for Numbers). 
Messrs. Carter & Co. (Messrs, for . Mes- 
sieurs and Co. for Company). 

Do not put a full stop after Roman 

No. IV and No. V ; Henry VI i, King of 

When writing a date in figures, separate 
day, month, and year by full stops. 

If a sentence is left unfinished, place three 
full stops at the end, with spaces between. 

If only he could 

If the sentence is finished and the writer 
wishes to leave something to the reader's 
imagination four full stops should be used, 
the first close up to the last word. If you 
are quoting and omit some words, show that 
there is an omission, or ellipsis, as it is called, 
by putting in three full stops. It does not 
matter how many words are omitted. 

There are only . . . four places 

in the world . . . where they exist." 

If you find it necessary to break a word at 
the end of a line, use a hyphen after the first 
part. Break the word at the end of a syllable. 

John said that he would re- 
turn before five o'clock if no- 
thing delayed him. 




The Valuable Work. Performed by Prefixes and Suffixes > 

EVERY plant, from the tiniest daisy to 
the mightiest oak, must possess roots 
and stems. 

Words also have roots and stems, but with 
words the stem includes the root. The root 
of a word is that part from which a whole 
group of words sprout ; the stem is the root 
plus a letter or letters showing what kind 
of word it is. Take the very ordinary word 
love ; the root is lov and the stem is love. 
Roots are never used by themselves as words, 
but stems are. 

If our language consisted entirely of 
stems it would contain very many fewer words 
than it actually does. We multiply the 
number of our words enormously by using 
affixes. An affix placed in front of a stem 
is called a prefix,, one placed after is a suffix. 

You would be surprised at the number 
of prefixes and suffixes in common use in 
English to-day. There are hundreds of 
them, and they are used over and over again. 
Among the words we can build up from love, 
for instance, are the following : 

loves lovely unloved 

loved loveliness unlovely , '_ 

loving lovelier unloving 

lovingly loveliest unlovingly 

Then there is a Latin root vert (meaning 
turn), from which we get convert, subvert, 
divert, pervert, revert, advertisement, vert- 
ical, and many other words. 

We get our prefixes and suffixes from 
(1) Old English and Danish, (2) Latin and 
French, (3) Greek. The first group we call 
Teutonic affixes, and the second Romanic. 
As a general rule we use Teutonic prefixes 
and suffixes with words that have come to us 
from Old English, Romanic with words from 
Latin and French, and Greek with Greek 
words. The reason, of course, is that we 
generally got the stem and the prefix (not so 
often the suffix) together. 

Both prefixes and suffixes alter the meanings 
of words, but a prefix does this much more 
completely than a suffix. We may say that 
a prefix alters the colour, but a suffix only 
alters the shade. For example : 

Unlovely is the opposite of lovely, 
but loving and lovely express the same 
idea, though from two different points 
of view. 

Suffixes are very largely used to make 
different parts of speech. Love is a noun or 
verb, lovely is an adjective, lovingly is an 

adverb. Prefixes are never used for this 
purpose ; their task is to make different sets 
of words. A prefix turns satisfy into dis- 
satisfy, a change of prefix turns comprise 
into surprise and thoroughfare into welfare. 
When this has been done the suffix can 
proceed with providing the parts of speech. 
The easiest way to create a new set of words 
is to use a prefix which contradicts or nega- 
tives the idea of the stem. We have several 
very common negative prefixes : 

likely unlikely ) ^ 

LI .11 t 1 eutonic. 

behave misbehave J 

frequent infrequent ) n 

i. i t Komanic. 

please displease 

chromatic achromatic Greek. 

Secondly, we can alter a meaning by 
strengthening or intensifying it. 

flow overflow Teutonic. 

close enclose ) D 

f f Komanic. 
race surface > 

critical Hypercritical Greek. 

Most prefixes were originally (and many 
still are) prepositions, so they simply add their 
prepositional meaning to the meaning of the 
stem. A very good way to set about mastering 
English prefixes is to learn all the Latin and 
Greek prepositions and their meanings. Here 
are a few of the commonest : 

LATIN, ad, meaning to, towards, into, at 
(admit, addition, advice, accuse). 
sub, meaning under, below (suoway, 
subtraction, submarine, sufficient), 
cum, meaning with, along with (com- 
mittee, compare, conference). 
GREEK, en, meaning in (encyclopaedia, 

energy, enthusiasm, emphasis). 
para, meaning beside, beyond 
(paragraph, paralysis, paraphrase, 

pro, meaning before (problem, pro- 
gramme, prologue, prophet). 
syn, meaning with (synagogue, syn- 
onym, sympathy, sy/lable, system). 

Suffixes are chiefly noun-forming, adjective- 
forming, and verb-forming. Most of them 
can be very easily recognized, -dom, -ship, 
-ling, which give us words like kingdorr, 
freedom, friendship, hardship, duckling, darling, 
are three Teutonic noun-forming suffixes, 
-age is a much used Romanic noun-forming 
suffix (Courage, language, cottage), and -ble, 
-able, -ible, are forms of an adjective suffix 
which gives us thousands of words, -ize, 
or -ise, is a Greek verb-forming suffix, izein, 
which has come to us through the French, 
and, unlike most suffixes, can be used with 
stems from any source whatsoever. 



Below you will find the various signs used in this work to show correct pronunciation : 

a as in bar (bar), rather (ra' ther), finale 

(n na' li). 
a as in bat (bat), matter (mat' er), pansy 

(pan' zi). 

a as in bate (bat), gait (gat), reign (ran). 
a as in bare (bar), stair (star), there 

aw as in ball (bawl), water (waw' ter), 

fraud (frawd). 
e as in cell (sel), bury (ber' i), impel (im 

e as in fern (fern), lurch (lerch), gird 

(gerd), word (werd). 
e as in deed (ded), chief (chef), idea (I de' 

a), piano (pe an' 6). 
i as in sit (sit), kindle (kin' dl), guild (gild), 

lymph (limf). 
I as in site (sit), might (mft), analyse 

(an' a Hz). 
o as in dot (dot), watt (wot), lorry 

(lor' i). 

5 as in no (no), dote (dot), glow (glo). 

6 as in nor (nor), formal (for' mal). 

00 as in do (doo), mood (mood), prove 

(proov), true (troo). 

u as in pull (pul), could (cud), wood (wud). 
u as in bun (bun), dove (duv), rough (ruf). 
u as in fuse (fuz), pew (pu), pure (pur). 

01 as in boy (boi), coil (koil), quoit (koit). 
ou as in bout (bout), now (nou), bower 

(bou' er). 

kh as in loch (lokh), coronach (kor' 6 nakh) 
n as in aileron (al' ron), chiffon (shif on). 
th as in thick (thik), wreath (reth). 
th as in then (then), wreathe (reth). 
Hard g is shown as in gong (gong), goal 

(gol) ; soft g as in gem (Jem), gender 

(jen' der). 
When a dot is placed over a e o u (a e 6 u) 

it denotes that the vowel has a slurred 

or obscure sound, as in the following 

examples : 

abet (a bet'), recent (re' sent), 

conform (con form'), nation (na' 

shun), durable (dur' abl), between 

(be twen'), tailor (ta' lor), measure 

(mezh' iir). 


Only a few abbreviations have 






























































been found necessary. 

Late Latin, 
Middle English. 
Middle French. 
Middle German. 
Middle High 



Old High German 

past participle, 

They are as follows : 

pres. p. present participle 

priv. privative, 

pron. pronoun. 

Prov. Provencal, 

p.t. past tense. 

Rus. Russian. 

Sansk. Sanskrit. 

Sc. Scottish. 

Scand. Scandinavian. 

Sem. Semitic, 

sing. singular. 

Slav. Slavonic. 

Span. Spanish. 

Swed. Swedish, 

syn. synonym. 

Syr. Syriac. 

Teut. Teutonic. 

U.S.A. United States of 


v.i. verb intransitive, 

v.t. verb transitive. 



R. WOOD SMITH, Art Editor A. B. GOUGH, Assistant Editor 

ERNEST G. OGAN, Assistant Editor RICHARD HUSON, Assistant Editor 


H. CHELLEW, D.Sc., Ph.D. 




H. C. DENT, B.A. 

J. H. FREESE, M.A., formerly 

Fellow of St. John's College, 


P. H. JOHNSON, B.A., B.Sc., 
L.C.P., F.R.G.S., F.Z.S. 





W. M. SEABER, B Sc., F.I.C., 

F. H. SHOOSMITH, B.Sc., Ph.D. 
M. W. THOMAS, B.A., 



A, a (a). The first letter and vowel in the 
English and most other alphabets. 

The letter a has various sounds, and they 
are shown in this book by different signs or 

Its position as the first letter in so many 
alphabets is probably due to the ease with 
which it can be pronounced, a simple breath- 
ing enabling any of its sounds to be uttered. 
The interesting history of this letter, which 
came to us from Egypt, is told on page x. 

As a part of speech a is an adjective ex- 
pressing a number or an amount. It is called 
the indefinite article to distinguish it from 
the, which is known as the definite article. 
The value and purpose of a as a part of 
speech is fully described on page xxxv. 

Besides helping to form words, the letter 
a serves many other purposes. It is fre- 
quently in demand as a symbol or sign 
standing for a thing, a 

process or an idea, and ^ 

it also plays an impor- 
tant part in abbre- 
viations. It is the first 
of the dominical letters, 
which indicate on what 
day of the year the 
first Sunday falls ; thus 
if the first Sunday falls 
on January ist the 
dominical letter is A, 
if on January and B, 
and so on. As a motor- 
car index-mark it 
stands for London. 

In music A is an 
important note, as 
orchestras tune from it. 
in the scale of C major and minor, the fifth 
in D major and minor, and the third in F 
major. In scale A the notes run alpha- 
betically : A B C D E F G, to the next A 

As an abbreviation it represents many 
words of which it is the first letter, including 
artium, in artium magister Master of Arts ; 
Academy, or Academician, in Royal Acad- 
emy, or Royal Academician (R.A.) ; anno, 
meaning in the year, in anno Domini (A.D.) ; 
and ante, meaning before, in ante meridiem 

As a prefix a letter or syllable placed 
before a word a also serves a very important 
purpose. It represents in or on in words like 
abed, afoot ; away or out, as in arise, awake ; 
of or from, as in akin, afresh ; to, as in ado ; 
out, as in amend ; from, as in avert ; against, 
as in along ; and not, as in achromatic. 

Aardvark. The name of 
borrowed from the Dutch 

It is the sixth note 

A 1 (a wun). A symbol denoting ships of 
the highest class. 

Nowadays anything that is first-class is 
said to be A i, but originally the term was 
applied only to ships that were thoroughly 
seaworthy or of the highest class. In 
"Lloyd's Register of British and Foreign 
Shipping " this sign is put at the side of 
the names of the ships entitled to be 
described as first-class. 

aardvark (ard' vark), n. The African 

With a snout rather like that of a pig, very 
long ears, and a tail almost equal in length 
to its arched body, the African ant-bear is 
certainly not one of the beauties of the 
animal world. It is found from the Cape of 
Good Hope as far north as Somaliland. 

The early Dutch colonists of South Africa 
gave it an ugly name, for aarde means earth, 

_ -,. , and varken pig. The 

ant-bear is provided 
with a specially long 
worm-like tongue which 
is covered with "a 
sticky saliva, so that, 
when^it is darted out 
to its full length, it 
can seize on ants and 
termites without giving 
them a chance to 
escape. It belongs to a 
group of animals called 
Edentates, meaning 
toothless. This is 
not quite true of the 
aardvark, however, 
because, though it has 

no front teeth, it has just a few " cheek- 
teeth," but with no enamel on them. Its 
scientific name is Orycteropus afer. 

aardwolf (ard' wulf), n. The " earth- 
wolf " of South Africa. 

Although this animal looks very much 
like a small hyena, with its front legs 
rather longer than the back ones, its 
bristling crest of hair something like a 
horse's mane, and its habit of walking on its 
toes, yet it has certain peculiarities of its 
own. One of these is its shortage of teeth, 
and another is the rounded pupils to its 
eyes like the wolf. It is therefore something 
like a hyena and something like a wolf. 
Its scientific name is Proteles cristatus. 

Aaron's beard (ar' onz berd), . A 
popular name for various plants. 

Boys, girls, and grown-ups christened the 
flowers of the field long before learned men 
invented scientific names for them. When 

this African animal is 
and means earth pig. 



they found that certain plants had hairy 
clumps of leaves or tufted flowers they called 
them Aaron's beard, because they remem- 
bered reading in the Bible that Aaron, the 
brother of Moses and the first high priest 
of the children of Israel, had a flowing 
beard. This simple method has really led 
to difficulties, for several plants came to be 
called by the same name. 

Saxifraga sarmentosa, a well-known Chinese 
rock-plant, often grown in hanging pots, 
from which long stems bearing big clusters 
of hairy leaves droop down, is one of the 
most popular, and is also known as Mother 
of Thousands. Another Aaron's beard is 
Hypericum calycinum, with its pretty yellow 
flowers and beard-like stamens. This is 
sometimes called the Rose of Sharon. 

Aaron's rod(ar'6nzrod),. A term used 
in architecture and botany. 

We sometimes see a rod with a serpent 
twined round it cut out in stone on the 
front of a building. This illustrates what 
happened when 
Aaron, the high 
priest of Israel, 
threw down his rod 
in front of Pharaoh 
and it immediately 
turned into a ser- 
pent. Sometimes 
the rod has leaves 
round it, in memory 
of Aaron's rod that 
budded in token of 
the priesthood being 
vested in the house 
of Levi. Unfortun- 
ately when and why 
these symbols were 
first used is forgotten. 
The name Aaron's 
rod is also used for 
certain plants which 
flower on long straight stems that stand up 
stiffly. One of the best known of these is 
also called Golden Rod. 

Ab (ab), n. The fifth ecclesiastical month, 
and the eleventh civil month, of the Jewish 

For everyday purposes most people con- 
sider a year as the period of 365 days which 
includes spring, summer, autumn, and winter, 
but each religion has its own Church year 
with special festivals, fasts, and so on. The 
Jewish month of Ab is our July. 

aback (a bak'), adv. By surprise ; back- 
ward ; aft. (F. deconcerte, sur le mat.) 

When we use the phrase " taken aback,' 
meaning " taken by surprise," we are 
really using a sailor's expression, for aback 
or back in nautical language means " with 
the sails pressed backward against the mast." 
This is often due to a sudden change of the 
wind. On one memorable occasion, when 
Nelson was being pursued by two Spanish 
ships, a man fell overboard. Lieutenant 
Masterman Hardy was at once placed in 

Aaron's rod. The Wild 

Arum, which is often called 

Aaron's rod. 

charge of a jolly-boat and hastened to the 

The current was strong, the poor fellow 
disappeared, and .the little craft began 
drifting towards the oncoming enemy. 
" I'll not lose Hardy ; back the mizzen top- 
sail," shouted- -Nelson, thus causing the 
vessel to slow down, and the brave lieutenant 
and his sailors were rescued. This gallant 
deed also had 'an effect which Nelson had not 
anticipated, for when the Spaniards saw that 
the British ship was not forging ahead they 
imagined that the commander had sighted . 
vessels coming to his assistance, and gave 
up the chase. 

E. a- 1 =on, and back, A.-S. onbaec. 

abacus (ab' a kus),w. A counting-frame. 
The plural is abaci (ab' a si). (F. abaqiie.) 

Quite young children find it very difficult 
to learn arithmetic. The words one, two, 
three, and so on, have no meaning for them. 
But if they see one, two, or three objects 
put together or taken away, they soon begin 
to understand something about addition 
and subtraction. To make the learning of 
the rules easy, and interesting, boys and 
girls are often taught by means of an abacus, 
which is a wooden frame with beads that 
slide up and down on wires. By adding and 
subtracting beads of one colour, or beads 
on a particular wire, a child soon learns the 
relative values of numbers. 

The Chinese still use a frame very much 
like this for their business calculations. 
Architects use the word for a flat tablet of 
stone which is put at the top of stone columns 
to support that part of the design called the 
entablature. A small abacus is an abaculus 
(a bak' u lus, .), plural abaculi (a bak' u II). 

L. abacus ; Gr. abax, -akos, tablet. 


Abacus. The wooden frame with beads of different 
colours sliding on wires used for counting. 

Abaddon (a bad' on), n. The angel or 
guardian of the Bottomless Pit. 

John Milton, one of our greatest poets, in 
telling the story of the Fallen Angels in 
" Paradise Lost " and "Paradise Regained," 
divides the universe in what seems to us 
nowadays a very strange way. He imagined 
it to be a sphere of an unknown size divided 



Abandonment. When a vessel is sinking the captain may give the order to "abandon ship," as on this occasion. 
A boat-load of passengers is just leaving the doomed steamer. 

into two hemispheres, or half globes. The 
upper one was Heaven, or the Empyrean, a 
region of light and happiness ; the lower one 
was Chaos, without light or order of any kind. 
At the extreme bottom of Chaos was a 
Bottomless Pit called Hell, a region of fire, 
mountains, and sulphurous lakes. See 

Heb. word meaning destruction. 

abaft (a baft'), adv. and prep. Towards 
the hind part of a ship. (F. arriere.) 

The hind or back part of a ship is called 
the stern. Sailors pronounce it starn. The 
curved piece of timber at the prow (or front), 
to which the two sides of the ship are 
joined, is called the stem. So if we want 
to describe the whole length of a ship we 
use the expression " from stem to stern." 

On small vessels the captain, standing on 
the bridge, calls down to the crew, "Abaft 
there ! " or " Below there ! " according to 
where the sailors are or where they are 
wanted. On big ships there are mechanical 
arrangements for carrying orders from the 
captain to the crew. 

E. a- =on, b- =by, aft, that is, on by the 
aft or hind part. SYN. : Aft, astern, behind. 
ANT. : Ahead, before. 

abandon (a ban' don), v.t. To give up ; 
to desert, n. Freedom from restraint. 
(F. abandonner ; abandon.} 

When we say we abandon something that 
exists in the mind only, such as hope or fear, 
we mean that we give it up. For example, 
in " The Inferno," the famous Italian poet 

Dante tells of his journey, with Virgil as 
his guide, through the underworld to 
Paradise. At one point they pass through 
a wood and reach a gate above which Dante 
reads the dreadful words, "All hope abandon, 
ye who enter here." 

We also speak of abandoning things that 
we can see. When a vessel is sinking the 
captain may give the order to the crew to 
" abandon ship." They then take to the 
boats. The act of leaving is called abandon- 
ment (a ban' don ment, n.). This word may 
also be used in the sense of self-surrender, as 
the abandonment of good for evil, and any- 
one who has so surrendered himself is an 
abandoned person. When the word abandon 
is used as a noun it is pronounced like the 
French word a ban dong '. 

O.F. abandoner, from L.L. abandonnare, from 
a- =ad, bandum, bannum, order, decree, abandon, 
in the power. SYN. : Desert, forsake, leave, 
renounce, surrender. ANT. : Adopt, hold, keep, 

abandonee (a ban don e'), n. One to 
whom anything is abandoned. 

In legal agreements, the two parties always 
have a legal name. For instance, if some- 
thing is being sold, the person who sells it 
is called the vendor, and the person who 
buys it the vendee. A person to whom 
goods are sent is called the consignee, and 
the sender the consignor, and so on. "If a 
cargo ship which is insured is wrecked the 
owner goes to the man who insured it and 
abandons or gives up the cargo now called 



salvage to the insurer, who is termed an 
underwriter. The latter then becomes the 
abandonee, that is, the person to whom the 
salvage has been given up. 

L.L. abandonnare.p.p. abandonnatus (ee =atus). 

abase (a bas'), v.t. To lower ; to degrade. 
(F. abaisser.) 

At the time of the French Revolution, 
when the people wished to show their hatred 
of the aristocrats, they 
shouted " a bas ! " when- 
ever people of noble birth 
appeared. An English ^. 

crowd would have shouted, t". . 

" Down with them ! " and 
a glance will show the like- 
ness between the French 
" a bas " and the English 
word " abase." To sink to 
the knees is either a sign 
of abasement (a bas' ment, 
n.) or of respectful worship. 

O.F. dbaissier, to lower, 
from L.L. abassare, from 
a =ad, bassus, low. SYN. : 
Cast down, disgrace, humble. 
ANT. : Advance, elevate, 

abash (a bash'), v.t. To 
put to shame, to confuse. 
(F. ebahir.) 

When people are easily 
confused by the presence 
of other people we call them 
bashful or shy. We use the word abashed 
either in connexion with a certain cause or 
a certain occasion. When we talk of being 
abashed in connexion with a particular 
cause, we add the preposition by. For 
example, we say that " So and so was 
abashed by the presence of the man he had 
injured." But we should say, " So and so 
was abashed at the thought of the crowded 
court." This condition, would be called 
abashment (a bash' merit, n.) 

O.F. esbahir, astonish, from ex. (E. a) out, 
bahir, to make one cry, ' Bah ! " in surprise. SYN. : 
Awe, confound, confuse, disconcert. ANT. ; 
Animate, embolden, encourage, inspirit. 

abate (a bat'), v.t. To make less. v.i. To 
become less. (F. diminuer.) . . 

In everyday language, we do not often 
use this particular word in the sense given 
above. But there is one special .occasion 
when we employ it, and that is in -connexion 
with floods. We talk about floods abating 
when we mean that they are going down, 

In the ordinary course of nature, floods 
.which result from an unusually heavy rain- 
fall gradually recede of their own accord, 
but sometimes engineers are called in to 
make an artificial outlet for the flood water 
so that it will do less damage. This course 
was adopted when the River Mississippi 
overflowed its banks in 1927 and threatened 
-to destroy New Orleans. Openings were 
made with explosives in a great embankment 
near the busy city, and thus the waters 

found new outlets and were carried in another 
direction. This led to the abatement 
(a bat' ment, n.) of the menace, and the 
floods were abatable (a bat' abl, adj.) 
because they could be lessened. 

In legal matters we use the word abate 
when we mean to stop or put an end to. For 
example, if we do something which is an 
annoyance to our neighbours, it is called in 

Abatement. The explosion of a dynamite charge to blow up an embank- 
ment in order to abate the swollen waters of the Mississippi. 

legal language a nuisance, and if a lawyer is 
employed to tell us to stop doing this par- 
ticular thing he asks us to abate the nuisance. 
Marks of dishonour on a coat of arms are 
known as abatement. 

O.F. abatre, to beat down ; L. ad to, batere, 
batuere, beat. SYN. : Decrease/diminish, lessen, 
subside. ANT. : Augment, enhance, increase, 

abatis (a' ba te ; a bat ' is), n. A defence 
of trees which have been felled and laid side 
by side with the branches towards the 
enemy. Another spelling is abattis. (F. 
abatis, abattis.) 

A rampart made in this way enables ad- 
vancing troops to hide from the enemy and 
at the same time to watch them through the 
spaces between the leaves. 

In the World War a kind of abatis or 
screen of green boughs was often used as 
camouflage to hide a big gun. 

In Shakespeare's play " Macbeth," the 
troops who were advancing against .Macbeth 
adopted a plan that was even cleverer than 
the making of an abatis. They cut down 
the branches of trees as they passed through 
Birnam Wood, and carried them in their 
hands as they marched on. A messenger 
came to Macbeth and said : 
. As I did stand my watch upon the hill, 

I look'd toward Birna'm, and anon, methought, 
: The wood began to move. 

At first Macbeth would not believe this, 
but when he saw the strange sight for 
himself he lost all his courage, for he 



remembered the prophecy that a witch had 
told him some time before : 

Macbeth shall never vanquish'd be until 

Great Birnam wood to high Dunsinane hill 

Shall come against him. 

F. abatis, from O.F. abatre, to beat down, 
L. ad to, batere, batnere, to beat. 

abattoir (a ba twar'), n. A public 
slaughter-house. (F. abattoir.) 

In olden days animals were killed as re- 
quired by any unskilled person who would 
undertake the task. As a result, a great 
deal of unnecessary suffering was inflicted 
upon them, and there was great danger to 
the public health. The first European 
abattoir was built in Paris in 1818. Every- 
thing is done to ensure painless death and 
cleanliness in an abattoir. 

O.F. abatre, to beat down ; L. ad to, batere, 
batitere, to beat. 

abb (ab), n. Yarn used by a weaver. 
(F. chaine dc tisserand.) 

In a loom for the weaving of cloth the 
threads which are stretched out lengthwise 
are called the warp, and those which cross 
them are called the weft or woof. The 
yarn for the warp was formerly termed the 

Up to the time of Queen Victoria's reign 
the looms were worked by hand, and when 
machinery was introduced it made one of 
the most important changes in British 
industry that have ever taken place. Hand- 
looms are still used by a few people, but 
the cost of the materials woven in this way 
is so much greater that hand-weaving is 
only made possible by people who have 

sufficient love of hand-made things to keep 
the craft going. The hand-loom workers 
lived for the most part in the north of 
England, where giant weaving mills- house 
the costly machinery that is now used. 
The wool most suitable for a weaver's warp 
is abb-wool (ab wul, .). 

A.-S. ab=aweb, from a up, we/an, to weave. 

Abba (ab' a), n. Father. 

When the translators of the Bible came to 
put the New Testament into the Greek 
language, they still left in the word Abba 
and added the word Father, which is the 
same word in another language (Mark xiv, 
36 ; Romans viii, 15 ; Galatians iv, 6). So 
God the Father is sometimes referred to as 
Abba, Father! In the Syriac and Coptic 
churches a bishop is known as an abba. 

Aram, abba, O Father. 

abbe (ab' a), n. A general term on the 
European continent for a Roman Catholic 

It is used especially for a priest who is not 
connected with a particular church, such 
as one who is engaged in teaching or who is 
attached to a private household. 

F. abbe, abbot, L. abbas, -atem. 

abbess (ab'es),M. The female superior 
of an abbey. See abbot. 

abbey (ab' i), n. A building or collection 
of buildings housing a community of monks 
or nuns under the control of an abbot or 
abbess ; the church belonging to such a 
community. (F. abbaye.) 

Many of the finest churches in Britain, 
such as Westminster Abbey and Canterbury 
Cathedral, have been abbeys, or are built on 

Abbey. Some of the ruins of Fountains Abbey, once a part of the richest monastery in Yorkshire. It probably 
got its name because of the many springs nearby. The church was begun by Abbot John in 1203. 



ground on or near which an abbey once 
stood. Newstead Abbey, in Nottingham- 
shire, was turned into a dwelling house, and 
the poet Byron lived there for some time. 

The abbeys were enclosed by strong walls, 
and were little worlds in themselves. A 
well-appointed abbey would have a bake- 
house, a brew-house, farm buildings, various 
kinds of workshops, a scriptor- 
ium or writing-room, and a 
large garden. As fish was a 
very important item in the 
menu, no abbey was complete 
without its fish-pond. So 
carefully was this constructed 
that often the fish-pond 
remains after all traces of the 
abbey buildings themselves 
have disappeared. 

Apart from the church itself, 
one of the most important 
features was the cloister. Here 
the older members of the 
community studied, and 
the younger members received 
instruction. Close to the 
kitchen was the refectory, 
where the monks had their 
meals. Strangers were enter- 
tained jn guest-houses or 
guest-halls, and in the almonry 
alms were bestowed upon the 
poor. Attached to the almonry 
there was often a free school 
for village children. 

When an abbey became very 
large and powerful it would 
sometimes throw out offshoots, 
just as a tree throws out 
branches. Such a branch house was called 
a priory, and was ruled by a prior, who 
at first looked to the abbot of the parent 
house for his orders. When the priors 
themselves grew in power they often shook 
off this control, and gradually there came 
to be little difference between an abbey and 
a priory. 

O.F. abeie, dbaie, L.L. abbdtia. SYN. : Cloister, 
convent, monastery. 

abbot (ab' 6t), n. The head of a com- 
munity of monks ; a title of respect originally 
applied to any monk, and especially to one 
who was very old. (F. abbe.) 

The title was first used in the monasteries 
of Syria. There were many kinds of abbots, 
including the mitred abbot, who wore a 
mitre on his head like a bishop, and the 
crosiered abbot, who bore a crosier or pastoral 
staff in his right hand. Under the feudal 
system abbeys came to be awarded to men 
not in holy orders for military and other 
services, and these lay abbots grew numerous 
and powerful. Germany had her prince- 

In the Middle Ages the leader of the 
Christmas revels was called the Abbot or 
Lord of Misrule. In Scotland he was known 
as the Abbot of Unreason. 

Abbot. The abbot ot a monastery 
in Papho, Cyprus. 

Abbacy (ab' a si, n.) and abbotship (ab' 
6t ship, n.) are used for the state, offices, 
rank, and privileges of an abbot and also 
for the time during which an abbot is in 
office. Abbess (ab' es, n.) is used for the 
female superior of an abbey, and anything 
to do with an abbey or abbacy or an abbot 
or abbess is abbatial (aba' shi al, adj.). 

A.-S. abbod, L. abbas, Gr. abbas, 
-atos, Syr. abba, Father. 

abbreviate (a bre' viat), v.t. 
To make shorter, especially to 
shorten a word or expression 
in such a way that the result 
represents the original ; in 
mathematics, to reduce to 
lower terms. (F. abreger.) 

The a^r. or the result of 
shortening is abbreviation (a 
bre vi a' shun, n.), thus A.B. 
is the abbreviation for able- 
bod ied seaman,. M.A. for 
Master of Arts, and Herts, for 
Hertfordshire. An abbreviator 
(a bre' vi a tor, n.) is one who 
shortens. The popes used to 
employ a body of officials 
k n o w n as abbreviators to 
shorten the wording of their 
official letters and decrees. 
They would write' in an ab- 
breviatory (a bre' vi a to ri, 
adj.) way, and their work 
would be an abbreviature (a 
bre 7 ' vi a tur, .). 

L. abbreviatus, p.p. of abbre- 
viare, to shorten (ab^=ad, brevis, 
short). SYN. : Abridge, condense, ; 
contract, reduce, shorten. ANT. : 

Amplify, enlarge, expand, extend, lengthen. 

Abderian (ab der' i an), adj. Belonging 
to the ancient Greek city of Abdera on the 
south coast of Thrace ; fond of laughing. 
(F. abderien.) 

Abdera was the birthplace of the Greek 
philosopher, Democritus. He looked on life 
in a cheerful, hopeful way and was therefore 
called the laughing philosopher, and that is 
how the word Abderian got its second 
meaning. Democritus visited many lands 
and lived from 460 to 370 B.C. 

Abderite (ab' der it), n. A person whc 
lived at Abdera in Thrace ; a simpleton. 
(F. abderite.) 

Although the philosopher Democritus, who 
was a citizen of Abdera, was famous enough 
for his wisdom to be referred to simply as 
the Abderite, the townspeople of Abdera 
generally had the name of being very foolish. 
Something in the air of the place was sup- 
posed to make them stupid and easily taken 
in. In ancient times the people of Boeotia 
in Greece had a similar reputation, and in 
England the villagers of Gotham in Notting- 
hamshire became known far and wide for 
their rustic simplicity. 



abdicate (ab' di kat), v.t. To give up ; 
abandon, v.i. To give up something, such 
as a dignity, privilege, or office, especially the 
throne. (F. abdiqiter.) 

An abdication (ab di ka' shun, n.) may be 
voluntary or compulsory. The emperors 
Diocletian in 305 and Charles V in 1555 
abdicated because they were weary of the 
work of governing their immense dominions. 
The many sovereigns who abdicated during 
the World War (1914-18) were forced to 
do so by public opinion. 

A British king can only legally abdicate 
with the consent of Parliament. It was thus 
that Richard II abdicated in 1399. When 

abduct (ab dukt'), v.t. To lead or draw 
away. (F. enlever.) 

To abduct anybody is to take or lead him 
away unlawfully. The misdeed is abduction 
(ab duk ' shun, n.}, a term also applied to 
the action by which certain muscles pull 
back the parts of the body to which they 
are attached, or to the drawing apart of the 
sides of a wound or of a bone after it has 
been broken. It is also used in logic, to 
denote a certain kind of argument. The 
person who carries away another wrongfully 
is an abductor (ab duk' tor, n.}, a term also 
used for a muscle which draws away Irom the 
middle line or pulls back a part or parts of 

Abdication. The impressive scene at the Palace of Fontainebleau, near Paris, on the llth April, 1814, when 
Napoleon I, Emperor of the French, signed his abdication and surrendered his throne. 

James II threw the great seal into the Thames 
and fled to France in 1688, he was declared 
by the Lords and Commons to have abdicated 
the government, though he never formally 
resigned the crown. 

On the gth November, 1918, just before the 
close of the W 7 orld War, the German Emperor, 
realizing that his army was defeated, signed 
his abdication at Spa, in Belgium. By that 
act he surrendered his throne, and became 
an abdicator (ab di ka' tor, n.). 

L. ab from, dicare, proclaim. SYN. : Abandon, 
renounce, surrender. ANT. : Adopt, claim, keep, 

abdomen (ab do' men), n. A part of the 
body which in human beings contains most 
of tJie organs that have to do with digestion, 
and in insects the whole of the body below 
the " waist." (F. abdomen.} 

Anything relating to the abdomen is 
termed abdominal (ab dom'. in al, adj.), 
thus we speak of an abdominal operation. 
A stout person is abdominally (ab dom' in 
al li, adv.) inclined, or abdominous (ab dom' 
in us, adj.) . 

L. abdomen, possibly for . adipomcn, from 
adeps, fat. 

the body. Such a muscle is abducent 
(ab du' sent, adj.}. 

L. abducere, ab, from, ducerc, to lead or draw. 
SYN. : Carry off, kidnap, take away. ANT. : 
Adduct, reinstate, -restore. 

abeam (a bem'), adv. On the beam- 
(F. par le travers, sur Ic cote). 

Sailors often use the word beam for the 
side of a ship, and when they catch sight 
of some object on either side of the ship, they 
say that there is something abeam. 

E. a- =on, and beam. 

abecedarian (a be se dar 'i an), n. Some- 
one or something that has to do with the 
alphabet, adj. Relating to the alphabet. 
Abecedary (a be se' da ri) is another spelling. 
(F. abecedaire.) 

When learning the A B C a child is an 
abecedarian ; so is the teacher who teaches 
him. One who knows very little who is 
in need of learning the alphabet is an 
abecedarian. In the sixteenth century there 
was a little group of people in Germany 
who thought that to understand the Scrip- 
tures was the only important thing, therefore 
there was no need to learn the alphabet. 
They were nicknamed abecedarians. 



Things arranged in the order of the letters 
of the alphabet are abecedarian. Hymns 
and psalms used often to be written in this 
way, perhaps to make it easier for people 
to remember them. That very long Psalm, 
number CXIX, is abecedarian. You will 
see that each of its 22 parts has a strange- 
looking word Aleph, Beth, Gimel, etc. 
at the top. These words are the letters of 
the Hebrew alphabet arranged in their 
proper order. In the Hebrew language, in 
which they were first written, the first word 
of each of the verses headed Aleph began 
with the letter aleph and so on right through 
the alphabet. 

L.L. abecedarius, alphabetical. 
aberrant (ab er' ant), adj. Wandering 
from the right way ; varying from type. 
(F. aberrant.) 

One who does not keep strictly to the 
truth is aberrant, the action being aberrance 
(ab er' ans, n.) or, as it is less usually called, 
aberrancy (ab er' an si, n.). An animal 
which differs from the natural type is said 
to be aberrant. 

The makers of the early telescope were 
greatly worried by difficulties caused by 
the wandering of light rays from their 
right path. This aberration (ab er a' shun, 
.), as it is called, has two forms, spherical 
and chromatic, or colour, aberration. The 
one causes the im- 
ages formed to 
appear misshapen, 
and the other fringes 
them with the 
colours that are 
formed by pure light 
passing through a 
prism. These defects 
were at last over- 
come by using two 
lenses for the objec- 
tive, the inner one 
concave or hollowed 
out, and the other 
convex or arched, 
the rays of light 
thus being more exactly focused. 

James Bradley, who became astronomer- 
royal, made an important discovery in 
1728 which he called the " aberration of 
light." He found that the apparent move- 
ment of fixed stars was due to the effect 
of the motion of light and the movement 
(as the earth revolves about the sun) of the 
observer. What actually happens is that 
the observer, who moves with the earth, 
sees only the light of the star, not where 
the star actually is but where it was some 
time before, that is, as long ago as it takes 
for light to travel the distance between the 
star and the earth. 

When it is raining, walk briskly along, and 
you will think the rain is falling towards you, 
but walk quickly backwards and it will 
appear that the ram is falling slantingly 
towards vour back. Now stand still, and 

Aberration. Bradley, dis- 
coverer of the aberration 
of light. 

you will see how it is falling in a straight 
line from the sky, or almost so. This is 
very much like what happens to aberrant 

L. ab from, err are to wander, go astray. 
SYN. : Deviating, divergent, exceptional, irregu- 
lar, unusual. ANT. : Consistent, natural, regular, 

abet (a bet'), v.t. To aid or encourage 
by act or advice ; to uphold. (F. soutenir, 

Originally abet meant " to bite " and 
later " to bait," as to set dogs to bait or 
worry a rat, but now it is generally used 
in the bad sense, as "to aid and abet a 
crime." One who does so is an abetter 
(a bet' er, n.) and his act an abetment 
(a bet' ment, n.). In law, abettor (a bet' or) 
is the correct spelling. 

O.F. abeter, to incite ; from a to, beter to bait. 
SYN. : Aid, help, incite, promote, sanction. 
ANT. : Baffle, deter, frustrate, hinder, obstruct. 

abeyance (a ba' ans), n. A state of being 
held back ; suspension for a time. (F. 
suspension, vacance.) 

The real meaning of abeyance is a thing 
gaped after, in reference to people standing 
open-mouthed in expectation of seeing 
something about to make its appearance, 
but the word is seldom if ever used in this 

The word frequently occurs in law relating 
to a property or inheritance that awaits 
the appointment of someone entitled to 
possession. Thus a property not at present 
owned by anyone is said to be in abeyance. 
Sometimes a title of honour may fall into 
abeyance, in which case the Sovereign may 
appoint a person to succeed to it. 

O.F. abeance ; from a to, beer ; F. bayer ; 
late L. badare, to gape. SYN. : Expectancy, sus- 
pension, waiting. ANT. : Action, possession, 
renewal, revival. 

abhor (ab hor'), v.t. To detest or loathe. 
(F. abhorrer.) 

We abhor anything that is evil, because 
it is abhorrent (ab hor' ent, adj.) or hateful, 
and we may show our abhorrence (ab hor' 
ens, n.) or abhorrency (ab hor' en si, n.) 
by expressing dislike of it. Abhorrently 
(ab hor' ent li, adv.) means in a hateful 
manner. A person who detests or loathes 
is an abhorrer (ab hor' er). 

Nowadays there is always a Government, 
for even during a general election the 
ministers carry on the business of the 
country until the new Parliament meets. 
At an earlier period a monarch often ruled 
without such help, and many people con- 
sidered that it was the king's right to 
summon Parliament only when he wished. 

In 1679 those who did not agree with 
this petitioned Charles II for a new Parlia- 
ment and were called Petitioners, while 
those who favoured the king sent addresses 
expressing abhorrence of the former and 
were named Abhorrers. The rival parties 



were afterwards known as Whigs and Tories 
or, as we should call them, Liberals and 

L. abhorrere, from ab from, horrere to shrink. 
SYN. : Despise, detest, hate, recoil from, shrink 
from. ANT. : Admire, esteem, like, love, relish. 

Abib (a/ bib), n. The old Hebrew name 
for the first month of the Jewish year, 
meaning " ears of grain." It was in the 

Abib, like all the other Hebrew names of 
months, was replaced by a Babylonian name, 
Nisan (see Nisan). On the i-jth day of this 
month the feast of the Passover is held. 

abide (a bid'), v.i. To dwell, stay, or 
wait ; to continue, v.t. To wait for : to 
endure. (F. demeurer, souffrir.) 

This word appears in the title line of 
Henry Francis Lyte's well-known hymn 
" Abide with me : fast falls the eventide," 
which was written on the day on which 
he preached his last sermon. Love can 
be abiding (a bid' ing, adj.) or lasting, and 
a thing may be abidingly (a bid' ing li, 
adv.) or for ever lovely. A dweller in a 
town or house is an abider (a bid' er, n.) 

A.-S. abldan, to abide ; from a- intensive, 
bldan to bide. SYN. : Await, dwell, expect, 
inhabit, reside, tarry. ANT. : Abandon, depart, 
migrate, proceed. 

abigail (ab' i gal), n. a waiting- maid. 
(F. femme de chambre, soubrette.) 

Several authors and playwrights give 
the name Abigail to characters who are 
employed in household duties. Beaumont 
and Fletcher in " The Scornful Lady " call 
the " waiting gentlewoman " Abigail, and 
Swift and Fielding also adopt the name for 
characters in a similar walk of life. Their 
choice is not mere chance, but is inspired 
by Abigail, the wife of Nabal, and after- 
wards of David, whose handmaid (i Samuel 
xxv, 24) she styled herself. 

Abigail is a Heb. word probably meaning 
" Father is Joy," that is, " whose father rejoices," 
or " father of joy," who brings joy. 

ability (a bil' i ti), n. Physical, mental or 
moral power ; skill ; pi., intellectual gifts. 
(F. habilete, talents.) 

From 1842 to 1847 engineers in the 
British Navy had the opportunity to secure 
a medal for " ability and good conduct " ; 
only six of these medals were awarded, 
the distribution being discontinued when 
naval engineers were given the rank of 
warrant officer. 

F. habilite, from L. habilitas, from habilis clever, 
apt. See able. SYN. : Aptitude, cleverness, 
ingenuity, skilfulness, talent. ANT. : Inapti- 
tude, inability, maladroitness, stupidity. 

abiogenesis (ab i 6 jen' e sis), n. The 
production of living matter from non-living 
matter. (F. abiogenese.) 

Belief in abiogenesis was quite common 
until Thomas Huxley, Louis Pasteur, 

John Tyndall, and other famous scientists 
were able to disprove it. Another form of 
the word is abiogeny (ab i oj' en i, n.). One 
who so believes is an abiogenist (ab i oj' en 
ist, n.). Anything relating to abiogenesis 
is abiogenetic (ab i o jen et' ik, adj.) and 
anything formed in such a way is produced 
abiogenetically (ab i 6 jen et' ik al li, adv.) 
and is abiogenous (ab i oj' en us, adj.). 
Gr. a-, priv., bios life, and genesis generation. 

abject (ab' jekt), adj. Sunk to a low 
condition ; mean, worthless. (F. abject, 

One who is mean or base is an abject 
person and acts abjectly (ab jekt' li, adv.) ; 
his condition is abjection (ab jekt' shun, n.) 
or abjectness (ab jekt' nes, n.). 

Abject was at one time in general use 
as a noun for a base or mean-spirited 
person, in which sense it occurs in Psalm 
xxxv, 15 : " The abjects gathered them- 
selves together against me." It was also 
used as a verb, and meant to cast or throw 

L. abjectus, p.p. of abjicio ; ab from, jacere 
throw. SYN. : Base, contemptible, despicable, 
pitiful, servile. ANT. : August, exalted, lofty, 
noble, superb. 

abjure (ab joor), v.t. To deny or take 
back on oath (what one has said) to ; give 
up. (F. abjurer.) 

On one of the doors of the Church of 
the Holy Trinity at Stratford-on-Avon, 
where Shakespeare 
is buried, there is a 
massive sanctuary 
knocker. Here, as 
in many other re- 
ligious buildings 
down to the reign 
of James I, a man 
fleeing from justice 
who knocked could 
find sanctuary, and 
escape with his life 
if he took an oath 
to "abjure the 

Abjure.- Sanctuary knocker realm." This meant 
at Durham Cathedral. that he gaye up aR 

his rights as a citizen and a subject of the 
king, and left the country within a certain 

After William III had become King of 
England all members of Parliament, clergy- 
men, lawyers, teachers, and others who held 
public office had to swear that they would 
give up allegiance to " the late King James " 
and not give support to any of his descend- 
ants who might claim the throne of England . 
This was called the Oath of Abjuration 
(ab joor a' shun, .). A person who 
renounces or takes such an oath is an 
abjurer (ab joor' er, .), and his action is 
abjuratory (ab joor' a to ri, adj.). 

L. ab from, jurare to swear (away, renounce) . 
SYN. : Forego, foreswear, reject, renounce. ANT. ; 
Advocate, avow, claim, retain. 


Ablaze. A great fire at a paint works which did damage to the extent of over 1,000,000 before the 
firemen succeeded in their efforts to get the outbreak under control. Our picture shows the building well ablaze. 

ablation (ab la' shun), n. The process of 
carrying away. (F., in some senses, abla- 

This word is used chiefly by scientific 
men, such as doctors, surgeons, and geolo- 
gists. A geologist would tell you that the 
melting of the surface of a glacier and the 
wearing away of a rock by water constantly 
flowing over it are examples of ablation. 

Late L. ablatis, from ablatus, p.p. of auferre 
to carry away. 

ablative absolute (ab' la tiv ab' so loot) , n. 
A Latin form of writing answering to the 
English nominative absolute, that is, a 
noun (or pronoun) and a participle inde- 
pendent of the rest of a sentence. Examples : 
" Lessons finished we leave school." " This 
done he hurried off." These would be 
expressed in Latin by a noun and participle 
in the ablative case. 

ablaut (ab' lout), n. Change of the root 
vowel in a word, through shifting of the 
accent in the parent language ; gradation. 
(F. changement de la voyelle radicals, apop- 

By such change the meaning is altered 
in the same way as other words are altered 
by adding letters to them. Examples of 
ablaut are fight, fought ; sit, sat. 

G. ab from, laut sound. 

ablaze (a blaz'), adv. and adj. Well alight ; 
gleaming ; greatly excited. (F. en flamme.) 

On the and September, 1666, at about 
two o'clock in the morning, a fire broke out 
in a shop belonging to the King's baker 
in Pudding Lane, near London Bridge. 
In those far off days there was no Fire 

Brigade as we now have, and +hus the 
fire, fanned by a north-east wind, spread 
very quickly to adjoining buildings. Soon 
whole streets were at Lacked, and most 
of the large and important buildings in 
the city were ablaze. 

No fewer than eighty-five churches, in- 
cluding St. Paul's Cathedral, were .burnt 
down, and the Royal Exchange, Guildhall, 
and some 13,000 houses were also laid in 
ruins. It was not until the 6th September 
that the fire died out, so that London was 
actually ablaze for four days. 

A garden full of coloured flowers is said 
to be ablaze with colour, and a very angry 
person ablaze with anger. 

A=on (in), A.-S. blaese flame, torch. 

able (ab'l), adj. Having the power and 
knowledge needed to do a given task. (F. 

Boys or girls are able who can do their 
lessons. The word is also used in describing 
greater powers and knowledge, such as 
those of a very able man, or in describing 
anyone who has the resources or ability 
needed for doing anything. 

A task performed capably or with ability 
is ably (ab' li, adv.) done. A strong and 
healthy person is said to be able-bodied 
(ab'l bod id, adj.). Those who have to do 
with ships commonly speak of an A.B., an 
able-bodied or able seaman, meaning a 
sailor who thoroughly knows his work, 
although having no rank. 

O.F. hable, from L. habilis, handy, from 
habere, to have. SYN. : Clever, gifted, ingenious, 
proficient, skilful. ANT. : Incompetent, in- 
efficient, stupid, unskilful. 




ablen (ab' len), n. A name for the bleak. 
(F. able, ablette.) 

A small silvery fish, also called ablet 
(ab' let, n.), it is about four inches long and 
is found in the rivers in Britain and through- 
out Europe. Ausonius, a Latin poet and 
schoolmaster who lived in the fourth century 
A.D., mentions that he had watched boys 
catching bleaks. 

Late L. abula = albula, dim. from albus 

ablution (a bloo' shun), n. The act of 
washing or cleansing. (F. ablution, nettoie- 

Many a boy has been asked if he has 
" performed his ablutions," which is another 
way of saying " Have you washed yourself ? " 
Some small boys appear to find washing 
rather a nuisance, but it was quite otherwise 
with the Romans, who considered bathing 
so delightful that they built magnificent 
palaces of marble for the purpose. The 
Greeks never displayed the luxury of the 
Romans in this respect ; in fact in early 
times they considered it unmanly to take 
too many baths. 

In countries like India bathing is looked 
upon as a religious duty, while to wash 
in the sacred waters of the great river 
Ganges is a crowning act of piety. To 
perform this abluent (ab' lu ent, adj.) or 
ablutionary (a bloo' shun ar i, adj.) rite, 
millions of Hindus have made long pil- 
grimages, often walking hundreds of miles. 

L. ablntio, from ab from, off, luere to wash. 
SYN. : Bathing, cleansing, purification, washing. 
ANT. : Contamination, defilement, impurity, 

abnegate (ab' ne gat), v.t. To deny ; to 
renounce ; to refuse. (F. nier, renoncer a.) 

Centuries ago many a man decidqd . to 
abnegate the pleasures of life by becoming 
a hermit. In a tiny cell, sometimes carved 
out of a sandstone rock with infinite patience, 
he would live alone, making his devotions 
and looking .forward to the time when 
death would relieve him of all temptation. 
Such abnegation (ab ne ga' shun, n.) is 
not often practised nowadays. 

L. abnegare, from ab from, negare to say no, 
reject. SYN. : Abjure, deny, disallow, reject. 
ANT. : Affirm, allege, declare, proffer, vindi- 

abnormal (abnorm'al), adj. Out of the 
ordinary. (F. anormal, irrdgulier.) 

A giant is abnormal, though his abnor- 
mality (ab norm al' i ti, n.) may help him 
to earn a good living in a circus. His 
appearance may draw an abnormally (ab 
norm' al li, adv.) large crowd, for abnormity 
(ab nor' mi ti, n.), being a departure from 
the usual, always excites curiosity. 

L. ab away from, normalis adj. from norma rule. 
SYN. : Erratic, irregular, peculiar, unusual. 
ANT. : Common, normal, ordinary, usual. 

aboard (a bord'), adv. On board. (F. 
a bord.) 

Once the passengers are on a ship or a 
train, they are said to be aboard. The 
cry of " All aboard ! " has a very familiar 
sound to railway travellers in Canada. 
The distances are so great that stoppages 
are made at certain stations for food. At 
such places many passengers get off the 
train and rush to the refreshment room. 
After, perhaps, ten or fifteen minutes, a 
bell rings, and the guard or conductor 
calls out loudly "All aboard ! All aboard ! " 

Aboard. The pilot stepping aboard a Cunard liner, for the safe navigation of which he will be held responsible 

until the huge vessel reaches port. 




Then the train continues its journey across 
the prairies. 

A=on, A.-S. bord plank, ship's side. SYN. : 
Afloat, on "board, within. ANT. : Aground, 

abode (a bod'), n. The house or place 
where one lives. (F. demeure.) The 
Mansion House, for instance, is the abode 
of the Lord Mayor of London. 

See abide. SYN. : Domicile, habitation, home, 
house, residence. 

abolish (a bol' ish), v.t. To do away 
with. (F. abolir.) 

This word is applied to things as well 
as to customs. Thus we read in the Bible 
of idols being abolished, the idols themselves 
not the worshipping of idols. 

Savages often have horrible customs. 
When civilized nations occupy countries 
inhabited by such people they do their 
best to abolish these bad customs, or those 
that are abolishable (a bol' ish abl, adj.), and 
usually the natives come to be grateful 
to the abolishers (a bol' ish erz, n.) for 
persevering with the work of abolishment 
(a bol' ish ment, n.), or abolition. 

L. abolere, to stop the growth, from ab from 
(expressing diminution), olere to grow. SYN. : 
Destroy, overthrow, prohibit, suppress. ANT. : 
Confirm, continue, establish, restore. 

abolition (ab 6 lish'un), n. The act of 
putting an end to something. (F. abolition.) 

When this word is used by itself the 
abolition of slavery is meant, and abolition- 
ism (ab 6 lish' un izm, n.) means the views 
and principles of people who are in favour 
of this. 

One who is active in seeking to put an 
end to something he considers wrong is 
called an abolitionist (ab 6 lish' un ist, n.). 
The term is most commonly used to describe 
those who worked to abolish 

Long before " Uncle Tom's 
Cabin " was written, and at 
an earlier date than the birth 
of Abraham Lincoln, who gave 
freedom to the American 
slaves, there lived in England 
fearless and noble men who 
gloried in being called aboli- 
tionists, although their hatred 
of slavery made them many 
enemies. The most famous 
were Thomas Clarkson and 
William Wilberforce, both of 
whom devoted their lives to 
end the slave trade. This, 
so far as Great Britain was 
concerned began in 1807, and 
in 1833 an Act came into force 
for abolishing slavery in British colonies. 

SYN. : Destruction, overthrow, prohibition, 
suppression. ANT. : Confirmation, continuation, 
establishment, restoration. 

abomasus (ab 6 ma' sus), n. The name 
of the " fourth stomach " of a cow, or 

Aboriginal. An Australian 

similar animal belonging to the group 
known as Ruminants. (F. caillette.) 

The cow has really only one stomach, 
but it is divided into four compartments, 
each having its use in the work of digestion. 
The largest is the paunch, into which the 
animal at once swallows its food. If you 
watch a cow at rest you will see that its 
jaws are working, although there may be 
no food before it. The animal is " chewing 
the cud." 

What happens is that the cow, by mus- 
cular motion, brings from the reticulum 
mouthfuls of the rough food it has previously 
swallowed, and patiently and regularly 
chews it up. The food is then swallowed 
again into another part of the stomach, 
where the further actions of digestion are 
continued, and finally into the abomasus 
or abomasum (ab 6 ma' sum, n.). 

L. from ab from, omasum paunch. 

abominable (a bom' in abl), adj. 
Detestable ; extremely disagreeable. (F. 
abominable, immonde.) 

The proper use of this word is to describe 
anything that arouses intense horror and 
loathing, anything which we abominate 
(a bom' in at, v.t.). The abominableness 
(a bom' in abl nes, n.) of some of the punish- 
ments that used to be inflicted in countries 
that were considered civilized is almost past 

Nowadays we often use abominable for 
something merely unpleasant, and abomin- 
ably (a bom' in ab li, adv.) in the sense of 
extremely, simply to give emphasis. We 
can call a road that is full of ruts abominable 
or an abomination (a bom' in a shun, n.), and 
it may become abominably wet in the 
winter months. 

In the Bible abominable and abomina- 
tion are often used of things 
that are unclean from a re- 
ligious point of view, and of 
anything that has to do with 
the evil practices and doctrines 
ot the heathen. The golden 
calf set up by Aaron was an 

The abomination of desola- 
tion (Matthew xxiv, 15 ; cp. 
Daniel xi, 31) is thought to be 
a heathen symbol, such as an 
altar or a Roman eagle, set 
up in the temple at Jerusalem 
| by a victorious enemy. 

L. abominabilis, from abominari 
\ to turn from anything ill-omened 
(ab, omen). SYN. : Hateful, hor- 
rible, loathsome, odious. ANT. : 
Desirable, pleasing, pure. 
aborigines (ab or ij' i nez), n. pi. The 
first, or those supposed to be the first, 
natives of a country. (F. aborigenes.) 

Before the dawn of history every con- 
tinent and nearly every country was in- 
habited by rough, simple folk. For the 




Above. The Tower of London and the bridge named after it as they appear from an aeroplane many 
feet above. The fortress was begun in the eleventh century and the bridge opened in 1894. 

most part they disappeared long ago. The 
cave dwellers and Stone Age men of Britain 
and other lands left behind them no written 
records, but much is known about them, 
because their stone tools and weapons 
have been dug up in the caves where they 
lived, and in the open country where they 
hunted wild animals. 

Collections of the implements, weapons, 
and ornaments of aboriginal (ab or ij ' in al, 
adj.) races are to be seen in the British 
Museum and similar treasure-houses. Even 
in Egypt, India, and China, where there 
were civilized people thousands of years 
before there was any art or culture in 
Europe, similar objects have been found. 
Some aboriginals ( have survived until 
our own day, especially in Australia, where 
they number about 62,000. The adv. is 
aboriginally (ab or ij' in al li). 

L. Aborigines, from ab from, origine (abl. of 
origo. beginning). 

abortive (abort'iv), adj. Ending in failure. 
(F. abortif.) 

The Gallipoli peninsula expedition of 
1915 was abortive. It ended abortively 
(a bort iv li, adv.), and its abortiveness 
(a bort iv nes, .) was a great disappoint- 
ment because it was hoped that the army 
and fleet would reach Constantinople, and 
thus caus^ the Turks to ask for peace. 

L. abortivus, from ab (= E. mis-), OYiri to arise, 
be born (miscarry, fail). SYN.: Fruitless, futile, 
profitless, unavailing. ANT. : Advantageous, 
beneficial, helpful, suitable. 

abound (a bound'), v.i. To have much 
o a thing ; to be frequent. (F. abonder.) A 
millionaire is a man abounding (a bound 'ing, 
adj.) in wealth. 

See abundance. SYN. : Flourish, increase, 
swarm, teem. ANT. : Decrease, lessen, vanish, 

about (a bout'), prep, and adv. This 
word is used in several different senses, as 
in the following examples : Around : The 
bees buzzed about my head ; he opened his 
eyes, and looked about him. Near in time, 
distance, etc. : About four o'clock ; I left 
it about here ; about two pounds will do ; 
it is about the same colour. Concerning : We 
talked about many things. Concerned with : 
" Wist ye not that I must be about my 
Father's business ? " (Luke ii, 49). Hither 
and thither along : Walking about the 
streets. The other way : Right about turn. 
To bring about : To get done : I hope 
to bring it about ; his carelessness is likely 
an accident. To come 
After a time it is sure to 

to bring about 
about, to happen 

come about. To go about : Sailors cause 
their ship to go about when they tack, and 
alter the vessel's course or direction. 

A.-S. abutan, made up of a =on, be =by, 
utan outside. SYN. : Almost, around, concerning, 
nearly, ready. ANT. : Accurately, afar, exactly, 

i above (a buv), prep, and adv. Higher ; 
more than. (F. au dessus de, plus de ; en 

This word is used in many slightly vary- 
ing senses, always with an underlying idea 
df superiority, that is, of being higher. 
For example, an amount of money above 
another is a greater amount ; to be above 
the average is to have reached a higher 
point than the average. 

When we say that a thing is never sold 
at a price above a certain amount, we mean 
that it is never sold at a price in excess of 
that amount. A person who is above 
another in rank, or brain-power, or social 
position, is superior to or more important 
than that other in those respects. The 
word is sometimes used as a noun. For 




example, we may say " Referring to the 
above," when we mean referring to some- 
thing that has been mentioned above 
Sometimes, too, we call Heaven " above." 

Above all means principally, before every- 
thing else. Above-board means openly, 
quite honestly, without any trickery. 
Above-ground means unburied or alive. 
Above par is a term borrowed from those 
who deal in stocks and shares and money 
generally ; it means above the nominal 
or issue price, as a pound share that has 
become worth twenty-one shillings. Over 
and above or above and beyond means in 
addition to, in excess of, or besides. 

A.-S. abufan=an on, be=by, near to, ujan 
upwards (from uf- up). SYN. : Aloft, beyond, 
exceeding, over. ANT. : Below, beneath, under. 

abracadabra (ab ra ka dab' ra), n. A 
word used as a charm ; a nonsense word. 
(F. abracadabra.) 

In olden times this word was looked upon 
as a magic formula. If it was written 
on a piece of paper or parchment, especially 
in the form of a triangle, like this : 







and the paper worn round the neck for 
nine days and then thrown over the wearer's 
shoulder into a stream flowing eastward, 
it was supposed to ward off or cure certain 

Nowadays the word is sometimes used 
to describe a way of solving a difficult 
problem that looks simple but is really 
ridiculous Conjurers sometimes say 
" Abracadabra " when they are doing a 

Abracadabra is a meaningless term used by 
the sect of the Gnostics. 

abranchial (a brang' ki al), adj. Without 
gills, n. An animal without gills. 

A crayfish breathes through its branchiae, 
or gills, but a leech has no gills, and takes 
in oxygen through its skin. The latter is 
therefore an abranchial or an abranchiate 
(a brang ki at, adj.) animal or an abranchial. 

Gr. a- not, without, branchia, L. branchiae gills. 

abrasion (a bra' zhiin), n. The act or 
result of rubbing away or wearing down. 
(F. abrasion, user par le rottement.) 

When we bark our shins we abrade 
(a brad', v.t.) them, and the result is an 
abrasion. Continual dropping, as we know 
from the saying, will wear away a stone, 
and this wearing is abrasion. Some parts 
of machinery are very liable to abrasion. 
Anything that causes abrasion is abrasive 
(a bra' siv, adj.). Grinding, scouring, and 
polishing substances like emery and corun- 
dum are abrasives ( 

L. abradere (p.p. abrasus), from ab from, off, 
radere to scrape. SYN. : Attrition, disintegra- 
tion, friction. ANT. : Accretion, increment, re- 

abreast (a brest'), adv. Side by side. 
(F. de front.} 

When a number of people are standing 
in such a strictly straight line that not only 
their shoulders but their chests also are in 
line we say they are abreast. To keep 
abreast of others as, for example, in a 
class is to keep up to their standard. To 
keep abreast of the times or the events 
of the day is to keep oneself informed as 
to what is happening in a general way in 
the world. 

E. a- =on, and breast. SYN. : Alined, along- 
side, beside. ANT. : Ahead, astern, behind. 

Abreast. Finishing abreast in a race. 

abridge (a brij'), v.t. To shorten. (F. 

We can abridge a book and thus make 
an abridgment (a brij' ment, n.) of it, and 
we can also make an abridgment or sum- 
mary of a legal document, leaving in only 
the chief points, though omitting nothing 
that is necessary to give a just rendering 
of the document. In a club or other 
society we can have abridged rules, that is. 
a shortened form of the rules, so that 
members will not find it difficult to read 
and remember them. A person who makes 
an abridgment is an abridger (a brij'er, n.). 

F. abreger, from L. abbreviare, from ad to. 
brevis short. SYN. : Abbreviate, condense, cur- 
tail, epitomize. ANT. : Amplify, expand, extend, 




abroad (a brawd'), adv. Far and wide ; 
at large ; in different directions ; in foreign 
countries ; broadcast. (F. an loin, a 
I'etr anger.) 

We say we publish a thing abroad when 
we tell everybody everything we know about 
it, or publish the news we have as widely 
as possible. But we go on our holidays 
abroad (.) when we leave England for a 
foreign country. A person who is " all 
abroad " has gone astray in his ideas. 

E. a- =on, and broad. SYN. : Apart, distant, 
distracted, far away. ANT. : Close, composed, 

abrogate (ab' ro gat), v.t. To repeal or 
cancel ; to annul. (F. abroger.) 

In 1849 it was decided to abrogate the 
Corn Laws, which imposed a duty on 
imported corn, and had existed since 1463. 
The act of annulling of repealing a law is 
abrogation (ab ro ga' shun, n.), and any- 
thing tending to the repeal of an act, as 
the agitation carried on for many years 
by Bright and Cobden against the Corn 
Laws, is abrogative (ab ro ga' tiv, adj.). 

L. abrogare, from ab from, away, rogare to ask 
propose. SYN. : Abolish, annul, cancel, nullify 
repeal. ANT. : Confirm, enact, enforce, establish 

abrupt (a brupt'), adj. Sudden; hasty; 
steep ; precipitous ; in botany, cut off sud- 
denly. (F. brusque, escarpe.) 

A person is abrupt in his speech when he 
loses his temper or speaks hastily ; he 
interrupts another person abruptly (a brupt' 
li, adv.), and his abruptness (a brupt' nes, 
n.) of speech makes others think him rude. 
The cliffs of Dover are abrupt or steep, 
falling away abruptly to the beach, and 
their abruptness makes them very danger- 
ous to climb. Parts of the cliffs some- 
times break away suddenly, and this is 
called an abruption (a brupt' shun, it'.). 

L. abrumpere (p.p. abrupius), from ab from, 
off, rumpere to break. SYN. : Curt, hasty, steep, 
sudden, unexpected, violent. ANT. : Calm, 
courteous, easy, polished, slow. 

abscess (ab' ses), n. A swelling on the 
body, containing pus or matter. (F. abcds.) 

In 1349 a dreadful plague swept over 
England. It was called the Black Death 
because the first sign was a black abscess, 
usually in the arm-pit. A few hours a ter 
its appearance the victim died. Hundreds 
of people died daily and at night the 
cry " Bring out your dead ! " rang through 
the streets, and the bodies were taken away 
in carts for burial. 

L. abscessus, from abs from, away, cedere to go, 
from the animistic opinion that the formation 
of an abscess was a means by which a disease 

abscind (ab sind'), v.t. To cut off. 
(F. retrancher.) 

This word is not ordinarily used. We 
might properly say " to abscind a syllable 
or vowel from a word," meaning to cut off 
or elide the syllable or vowel, but we should 

not say " to abscind a piece of string " or 
" to abscind a slice of cake." 

From this word comes the term used in 
geometry abscissa (ab sis' a, n.) ; pi. 
abscissae (ab sis'' e). A straight line run- 
ning length-wise through the centre of an 
egg-shaped body, for instance, is called 
the transverse axis. Imagine a second 
line at right angles to this one and cutting 
the outer curve at a point (P). The portion 
of the transverse axis cut off by this second 
line and extending to the top or vertex of 
the egg-shaped body is an abscissa of the 
point (P). 

The act of cutting off a portion as the 
syllable, or the abscissa is called abscission 
(absizh'un, n.), and the portion thus cut 

Abrupt. A steep cliff which falls away abruptly 
to the beach below. 

off is an abscission. There is a surgical 
operation on the eye similarly called, and 
the name is also that of the sudden cutting 
off of the course of a disease by death. 

Again, an orator sometimes finds it effec- 
tive to cut short a sentence, leaving the 
rest to be understood. For example : 
" He was a good man ; he was kind, he was 
gentle, he was honest, he was but need I 
name all the virtues ? " That is the 
rhetorical device of abscission. 

L. abscindere (p.p. abscisstis, -a fern.), from ab 
from, off, scindeve to cut. SYN. : Curtail, excise, 
shorten. ANT. : Add, embody, join, make 




abscond (ab skond'), v.i. To go away 
secretly ; to hide. (F. se cacher, s'enfuir.) 

A person who hides from those to whom 
he owes money or in order to avoid legal 
proceedings is said to abscond. Going 
away and hiding in this sense is called 
abscondence (ab skond ' ens, .), and the 
person who does it is an absconder (ab 
skond' er, n.). 

L. dbscondere, from abs=ab from, away, 
condere to conceal. SYN. : Escape, flee, fly the 
country, make off. ANT. : Appear, emerge, issue, 
present oneself. 

absent (ab' sent, adj. ; ab sent', v.). adj. 
Not present; not paying attention, v. reflexive. 
To keep oneself away. (F. absent, distrait; 
s'absenter, se distraire.) 

A person who is away in some other place 
is absent bodily ; if he is day-dreaming, 
paying no heed to what is happening under 
his nose, he is absent mentally. A boy 
who plays truant from school absents him- 
self, but in the roll-book is marked the 
fact that he is not present the fact of his 
absence (ab ' sens, n.). Had he simply 
forgotten to go to school, that would be 
due to absence of mind. 

One who is habitually absent is called 
an absentee (ab sen te', n.). A landlord 
habitually away from his estate is an 
absentee (adj.) landlord. The habit of 
being away is known as absenteeism (ab 
sen te' ism, n.). To do a thing inatten- 
tively is to do it absently (ab' sent li, adv.) 
or absent-mindedly (adv.) ; and anyone 
guilty of this kind of carelessness is an 
absent-minded (adj.) person a person given 
to forgetfulness of the business in hand, or 
absent-mindedness (n.) 

Shakespeare uses the word as a verb 
when he makes Hamlet (V, ii) say to 
Horatio, " Absent thee from felicity awhile." 

L. absens (gen. absent-is), from abs=ab 
from, away, ens (late part, of esse to be), or from 
ab, ses=es-ens). SYN. : Away, gone, heedless, 
missing, wanting. ANT. : Alert, attentive, present, 

absinthe (ab ' sinth), n. Wormwood ; a 
liqueur flavoured with wormwood. (F. ab- 

The French soldiers in Algiers used to 
be fond of a green, aromatic, bitter drink 
so fond of it that it had to be forbidden 
throughout the French armies. It was 
made by steeping bitter herbs in strong 
spirit, and thus obtaining an essence which 
was added drop by drop to water. The 
result was the strongly alcoholic beverage 
called absinthe. It was said to have tonic 
qualities and to be good for the stomach. 
It is still drunk in French and other con- 
tinental cafes. 

That which has qualities like those of 
absinthe i called absinthic (ab sin' thik, 
adj.), and to impart these qualities to any- 
thing is to absinthiate (ab sinth' i at, v.t.) 
that thing. The bitterness in the herb, 

wormwood botanists call it by its Latin 
name, Artemisia absinthium is known as 
absinthin (ab sinth' in, n.). 
Gr. apsinthion, L. absinthium. 

absolute (ab' so loot), adj. Not limited ; 
without any conditions or modifications ; 
unqualified ; independent. (F. absolu, par- 

You would say of a king who can do 
whatever he will, without any limit or 
condition, that he is an absolute monarch. 
The word is used in the sense of " com- 
plete " when John Stuart Mill says that 
" Absolute fiends are as rare as angels, 
perhaps rarer," and it is used in the sense 
of " perfect " when in "-Hamlet " (V, ii) 
Shakespeare speaks of "an absolute gentle- 

A chemist would describe a substance 
free from mixture as absolute ; for 
instance, absolute alcohol. Again, thinkers, 
when they speak of the Absolute refer 
to that which exists of itself, independently 
of any other cause, as God or the First 
Cause exists. In this sense the word is 
opposed to relative. 

A boy who has completely finished his 
lessons has finished absolutely (ab' so loot li, 
adv.).. Things complete, unlimited, have 
the quality of absoluteness (ab' so loot nes, 

L. absolvere (p.p. absolutus, free from restraint), 
from ab from, solvere to loosen. SYN. : Auto- 
cratic, complete, perfect, self-existent, unlimited. 
ANT. : Accountable, conditional, partial, yield- 

absolution (ab so loo' shun), n. The 
freeing of a person from certain obligations, 
sins, or penalties ; the form of words in 
which this is pronounced. (F. absolution, 

A king may absolve one of his subjects 
from his oath of allegiance, and a master may 
absolve one of his servants from his duties 
or obligations. In the Roman Catholic 
Church the word is generally used for the 
act performed by the priest of the removal 
of sin and its penalty from the penitent 
after his confession, and also for the words 
then used by the priest. Whether the priest 
has power to absolve the sinner from his sins, 
and release him from the penalties of his 
transgressions, is one of the questions that 
have divided the Christian Church. 

It is claimed by the Roman Catholic 
Church that, as the ministers of Jesus 
Christ, their priests have this power. The 
Protestants deny this, and instead of the 
form " I absolve thee " used by the 
Roman Catholic priests prefer the words 
" Christ absolve thee." 

There are other uses of the word absolu- 
tion in the Roman Catholic Church. Bap- 
tism is so described because it is regarded 
as a cleansing from sin. There is also 
absolution for the dead, performed at the 
end of a requiem mass, when prayers are 




^J Sponge 


Johns book .is 


and Sugar 


water and 

Oil arc 


Absorb. Four picture definitions of the numerous family of which this word is the father. 

offered for the/ deliverance of the soul ot 
the deceased from purgatory. See absolve. 
L. absolutio (-nem,' ace.), from ab from, solvere 
to free (p.p. absolutus); SYN. :' Acquittal, de- 
. liverance, indulgence, pardon. ANT. : Accusation, 
censure, condemnation, penance. 

absolutism (ab' so lu tizm), n. The 
rule of a person whose word is law in every- 
thing ; despotism ; autocracy. - (F. abso- 

A person who likes and works for this 
kind of government is called an absolutist 
(aS' so lii tist, n.). '{'-.' 

absolve (ab solv'), v.t. To free ; to 
pardon. (F. absoudre.) 

To pardon a person for his sins is to 
absolve -him. One released from a debt 
or acquitted of a charge is absolved, and 
the person" granting the release or acquittal 
is the absolver (ab solv' er, n.). 

L. absolvere, from ab from, solvere to loosen, 
set free. SYN. : Acquit, exonerate, free, liberate. 
ANT. : Accuse, charge, convict, oblige. 

absonant (ab' son ant), adj. Contrary to ; 
discordant ; inharmonious. (F. contraire a.) 
A tune that is displeasing to the ear is 

L. absonus, from ab away from, contrary to, 
sonars to sound, pres. p. sonans (gen. 

absorb (ab sorb / ), v.t. To swallow up ; 
to drink in ; to take in. (F. absorber.) 

A sponge absorbs water ; a black coat 
absorbs heat, and a white coat reflects it 
away ; a big business sometimes absorbs 
a smaller firm. Things easy to suck in or 

swallow up are absorbable (ab sorb' abl, 
adj.) and possess absorbability (ab sorb a 
bil' i ti, .). 

A boy intensely interested in a book is 
said to be absorbed in it and is reading 
absorbedly (ab sorb' ed li, adv.). His book 
or anything else intensely interesting, is 
absorbing (ab sorb ' ing, adj.) and could 
be described as absorbingly (ab sorb' ing li. 
adv.) interesting. 

Things which by their nature tend to 
suck in or absorb, such as a sponge or sugar, 
are said to be absorbent (ab sorb' ent, adj.) 
and are sometimes called absorbents ( 
They are also termed absorptive (ab sorp' 
tiv, adj.) and this property which they 
have is absorptiveness (ab sorp' tiv nes, n.). 
The disappearance through becoming a 
part of something else, such as the melting 
of sugar in water, is called absorption 
(ab sorp' shun, n.). 

L. absorber e to gulp down, from ab from, 

sorbere to sip, suck up. SYN. : Consume, 

engross, imbibe, immerse. ANT. : Disperse, 
dissipate, distract, eject. 

abstain (ab stan'), v.i. To keep oneself 
away ; to use a thing in moderation ; 
especially to refrain willingly from intoxi- 
cating liquors. (F. s'abstenir.) 

In olden days it was quite a usual thing 
for men to drink too much, and even those 
who claimed to be gentlemen considered 
it no disgrace to finish a meal by tumbling 
under the table in a state ot intoxication. 
Ale or beer was drunk at every meal by 
people of all ages, and an abstainer (ab 
stan ' er, n.), who preferred water, was 




looked upon as a very peculiar person 

To-day it is those who drink to excess 
who are regarded as peculiar, and by no 
means as gentlemen. Attempts have been 
made to compel whole nations, such as 
the United States and Norway, to give up 

L. abstinere, from abs from, tenerc to hold. 
SYN. : Cease, desist, refrain, withhold. AM.: 
Gratify, indulge, revel. 

abstemious (ab ste' mi us), adj. .Sparing 
or moderate, . especially with ^regard >to'- 
drink and food. (F. absleme.) 

The use of tea and coffee, the increase of 
sports, the efforts made to inform people of 
the dangers of alcohol, and the heavy cost 
of alcoholic drinks have all helped to make 
Great Britain abstemious. We now drink 
abstemiously (ab ste' mi us \\,"ndv.), that 
is to say with moderation, and it seems 
likely that our abstemiousness (ab ste' mi 
us nes, .) will increase. A curiosity of the 
w'ord abstemious is that it contains all the 
live vowels in their proper alphabetical order. 

L. abs from, temetitm strong drink. SYN. : 
Abstinent, frugal, sober, temperate, ANT. : 
Extreme, immoderate, intemperate. 

abstention (ab sten' shun), n. The act 
of abstaining ; refusal to do something, 
especially refusal to give one's vote. (F. 

The great increase in the number of 
persons entitled to vote for the election of 
members of Parliament and other public 
bodies has had a strange result. It has 
led to a great increase in the number of those 
who prefer abstinence (ab' sti nens, n.) or 
abstinency (ab' sti nen si, n.) to exercising 
this important right. In ancient Greece 
the abstinent (ab' sti nent, adj.) citizen who 
did not attend the Assembly and exercise 
his privileges was liable to a penalty. The 
adv. is abstinently (ab' sti nent li). 

In the Roman Catholic Church there are 
certain days on which meat is not eaten ; 
these are called days of abstinence. 

absterge (ab sterj'), v.t. To wipe away ; 
to wipe clean. (F. absterger.) 

When a doctor cleans a wound he uses an 
abstersive (ab ster' siv, adj.) lotion called an 
abstergent (ab ster' jent, n.). His act of 
cleaning the wound is an abstersion (ab ster' 
shim, n.). 

L. abslergere, from abs from, off, tergere to wipe. 
SYN. : Cleanse, purify, scour. ANT. : Contam- 
inate, pollute, soil. 

abstinence (ab' sti nens), n. The act of 
abstaining ; self-denial. See abstention. 

abstract (ab strakt', v. ; ab' strakt, ., 
adj.), v.t. To draw or take away. n. Summary. 
adj. Existing in the mind only ; separate. 
(F. abstraire ; abrege ; abstrait.) 

Abstract means to draw or take away, but 
not by the simple act of removing. It 
either has the sense of doing so secretly, as 

when a pickpocket abstracts a purse, or it i? 
employed in a scientific sense. Thus the 
chemist abstracts substances from liquids by 
distilling or boiling them. The lawyer selects 
the main points from the deeds or legal 
documents referring to a house or land, and is 
said to prepare an abstract of title. 

The word is used most often to .describe 
the process by which we think of the qualities 
of things apart from the things themselves^ 
The ideas which result from such thought are 
called abstract, and their names are abstract 
nouns. For example, iron is the name Of a 
very well-known thing. Now think of hard} 
ness, heaviness, usefulness, coldness, cheap- 
ness, strength, and you will see that all these 
are qualities of iron which can be thought of 
apart from the iron, but which cannot exist 
apart from it or from other things of which 
they are qualities. The quality of being 
abstract is abstractness (ab' strakt nes, n.)'. 

Too much thinking of this kind is apt to 
make a man dreamy or absent-minded, and 
so abstracted (ab strakt ' ed, adj.) comes to 
have that meaning. He acts abstractedly 
(ab strakt' ed li, adv.), and his abstractedness 
(ab strakt' .ed nes, n.) may lead to the 
abstraction (ab strak shun, n.) of his purse 
from his pocket. 

A man who has this power of making 
pictures in his mind of the qualities of an 
object is abstractive (ab strak' tiv, adj.) and is 
said to have the faculty of abstraction or of 
dealing with abstractions. While he is in 
the act of using this faculty of thinking 
abstractly (ab' strakt li, adv.) he is in a state 
of abstraction. 

L. abs from, Iractus, p.p. of trahere, to draw. 
SYN. : n. Abridgment, digest, epitome ; v. Appro- 
priate, detach, remove. ANT. : n. Amplification, 
expansion, exposition ; v. add, combine, increase. 

abstruse (ab stroos'), adj. Hidden from 
ordinary knowledge ; difficult to understand. 
(F. abstrus.) 

All knowledge that is much in advance of 
our own seems abstruse, but as we progress 
we discover that what we at first thought so 
involved is really quite simple. Chemistry, 
astronomy, mathematics, and other sciences 
of which almost everyone now knows some- 
thing were formerly regarded as abstruse. 
Those who followed such inquiries ran serious 
risks in the Middle Ages. They were often 
regarded as wizards, and might even be 
arrested and tried for their lives. 

Nowadays it is difficult to decide what 
subjects really ar~ abstruse, so eager is the 
pursuit of every branch of knowledge. We 
shall have to turn to the most out-of-the-way 
studies before we come across any that de- 
serve the name. Such are the higher branches 
of mathematics, which deal with infinitely 
large or small numbers ; researches on the 
origin of life or on the connexion between life 
and matter, and the deeper problems of 
philosophy and theology. 

We must not be afraid of a subject because 
it at first appears abstruse. The human mind 



Abundance. Part of the abundant herring harvest on the quay of one of the fishing station* in the 
Lofoten Islands, off the north-west coast of Norway. 

is capable of extraordinary exertions, and 
the desire to discover an answer to difficult 
questions will often clear away much of their 
abstruseness (ab stroos' nes, n.). 

L. abs away, trudere to push, thrust (away, 
conceal). SYN. : Complicated, intricate, involved, 
obscure. ANT. : Clear, obvious, plain, simple. 

absurd (ab serd'), adj. Unreasonable ; 
ridiculous ; impossible. (F. absurde.) 

What " deaf " (L. surdus, from which this 
word is derived) has to do with " absurd " is 
at first sight puzzling, but the following 
explanation of the term, based on its deriva- 
tion, will help to make the connexion clearer. 

Suppose a man who was quite deaf entered 
a room where people were singing, and with- 
out any idea of the music they were rendering 
joined in the performance. You can imagine 
the discord that would arise, even though 
the newcomer had a splendid voice and chose 
a beautiful song. - He would, in fact, be 
making himself absurd. 

So it is with most cases of absurdity. 
Things are not absurd in themselves but only 
in relation to their surroundings. Evening 
dress for a football match or football shorts 
at a Court ball are both absurd. Anything 
may become absurd if used in the wrong 

We often speak of absurd fashions, but 
when such dress is in fashion it has no 
absurdity (ab serd' i ti, .). Crinolines were 
not absurd to our grandmothers, and huge 
nose ornaments are considered beautiful by 
African natives. Comic actors and enter- 
tainers rely upon absurdity for much of their 
humour. An absurdly (ab serd li, adv.) huge 

hat on a little man, or a tiny cap on a very 
tall man will often raise a laugh, while many 
of the best jokes depend upon some un- 
expected remark. 

We should guard against the habit of re- 
garding everything new as absurd. Let us 
remember that in their time steamships, 
railways, bicycles, motor-cars, and aircraft 
have all been regarded by some people as 
absurd ideas, quite impossible to realize. It 
is the mark of a small mind to regard every- 
thing unusual as absurd. 

In mathematics the word absurd is some- 
times used to denote impossible, especially 
in proofs of geometrical propositions. Euclid 
often used it in this way. For example, we 
want to prove two angle ; equal. We begin 
by supposing they are not equal and follow 
up the results. This may lead up to a 
conclusion that is impossible ; its absurdness 
(ab serd' nes, n.) is evident. Then the suppo- 
sition must have been wrong and its opposite 
correct, so that the angles are equal. This is 
called an indirect proof, or a reductio ad 

Ab (possibly here intensive, to give emphasis) 
surdus deaf, unreasonable. SYN. : Anomalous, 
foolish, ludicrous, senseless, stupid. ANT. : 
Consistent, rational, reasonable, sensible, sound. 

abundance (a bun' dans), n. A supply so 
large as to be overflowing. (F. abondance.) 

Abundance is far commoner than scarcity 
in the world, and an abundant (a bun' 
dant, adj.) harvest is more usual than a famine. 
This gives us hope for the future, and points 
to a time when the streams of plenty will be 
directed with greater certainty into channels 




that will supply more abundantly (a bun' 
dant li, adv.) the needs of all. 

Abundance in the card game of solo whist is 
the call by which a player undertakes to win 
nine tricks or more out of the possible thirteen. 
An abundant number is one that is less 
than the sum of its factors. Thus 12 is 
abundant, for its factors, 1,2, 3, 4, and 6 add 
up to 16. 

L. abundantia, from abundare to overflow, from 
nnda wave. SYN. : Affluence, overflow, plenty, 
profusion. ANT. : Dearth, deficiency, poverty. 
abuse (a buz', v. , * bus', n.), v.t. To use 
in the wrong way ; to use harsh language to, 
/'.. Ill use ; improper treatment. (F. abuser ; 

Everything that can be used can be abused. 
The more delicate a thing is the more easily 
is it abusable (a buz' abl, adj.) . A watch is more 
readily harmed than a garden roller. Priv- 
i leges are too often abused. As King George V 
pointed out, one of the worst abuses to-day 
is that of littering open spaces with paper that 
mars their natural beauty. 

To use commons and public parks in this 
way is a serious abuse of the privilege 
of enjoying them. It may lead to abusive 
(a bu' siv, adj.) language on the part of a 
keeper, which means that the person most 
concerned will be treated abusively (a bu ' 
siv li, adv.) and may resent the abusiveness 
(a bu' siv nes. n.). 

L. db away from, wrongly, uti to use. SYN. : 
n. Insult, -misuse, reproach ; v. Defame, malign, 
slander. ANT. : n. Deference, honour, praise ; 
v. Extol, respect, vindicate. 

abut (a but), v.i. To join end to end ; to 
lean (upon) ; to border. (F. aboutir.) 

When two gardens adjoin they are said to 
abut on each other. The pier or wall, Or part 
of a pier of wall on which an arch is supported 
is an -abutment (abut ment, n.). Great care 
has to be taken in 
building an abut- 
ment because there 
are two forces to be 
resisted.- First, the 
downward pressure 
of the bridge or 
arch, and, secondly, 
the tendency of the 
arch to spread and 
thrust the abut- 
ment out of the 

o-fi-^ ;!.+ TV. J 

straight. The end 
of a piece of land 
which adjoins another is an abuttal (a but' 1, 
n.), and the owner of such land is called an 
abutter (a but'er, .). 

F. abouter, from a to, bout end. SYN. : Adjoin, 
border, impinge. ANT. : Diverge, recede, retreat. 

abutilon (a bu' ti Ion), n. A flowering 
shrub belonging to the mallow order. (F. 

Abutilons, those lovely plants with flowers 
that look like white, yellow, or orange bells, 
sometimes richly veined with red, come 
mostly from the tropics. There are about 80 

Abutment. The support 

on which the arches rest. 

different kinds. They do well out of doors in 
Britain during the summer, and will some- 
times grow as tall as twelve feet, but as soon 
as the weather begins to get cold it is safer to 
put them in the greenhouse, for the slightest 
touch of frost will kill them. The name is 

abyss (a bis'), n. A chasm or cavity of 
enormous depth ; anything so deep as to be 
difficult to measure. (F. abime.) 

Most people have a horror of great depths. 

Abyss. These Alpine mountaineers are crossing 
an abyss by means of a portable bridge. 

We look up with awe and admiration to lofty 
heights, but abysses are generally regarded 
with dread. This is partly to be accounted for 
by the fact that there is no fear of our falling 
up, but grave risk of falling down. Moreover, 
an abyss is usually a place of darkness and 
mystery. In olden times the word was used 
for the great deep which was supposed to lie 
beneath the earth, and also for the bottom- 
less pit of hell. 

The greatest of all abysses are the " Deeps" 
of the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans, which 
have a depth of more than 3,000 fathoms 
(18,000 ft.). The deepest sounding yet taken 
is 5,348 fathoms, near the island of Mindanao. 

Abysses are often associated with volcanic 
disturbances and earthquakes, but running 
water can, also carve out tremendous abysses. 
Some of the canyons of Colorado, in the 
United States, are over a mile deep, and in 
the limestone mountains of the Pennine 
Range there are cavities known as potholes, 
hollowed out by water to depths of many 
hundreds of feet. 

The dread and mystery which surround 
such abysmal (a bis' mal, adj.) places make 
them fitting types of equally or more dreadful 




things in our own minds, and so we speak of 
an abyss of ignorance or of sin. Abyssal 
(a bis' al, adj.), which means belonging to 
the abyss, is used especially of creatures 
dwelling in the deep sea. Abysm (a biz' m) 
is a poetical form of abyss. 

Gr. a- not, byssos bottom ; bottomless (pit). 
SYN. : Chasm, deep, gorge, gulf. ANT : Height, 
summit, surface. 

Abyssinian (ab i sin' yan), adj. Belong- 
ing to Abyssinia. n. An inhabitant of 
Abyssinia. (F. Abyssinien.) 

Abyssinia, an inland mountainous region 
of Africa, lying to the south of Egypt, is a 
very romantic country. It was often re- 
ferred to in ancient histories as Ethiopia, 
though it was seldom visited and little known. 
One of its chief points of interest is that it 
may claim to be one of the oldest Christian 
countries, Christianity having been intro- 
duced about A.D. 330. The country is an 
independent monarchy with a population of 
about 10,000,000. Its name has been given 
to a special type of pump and well. 

Abyssinia, from Arabic habash, mixture or 
mingling, on account of the many races inhabit- 
ing the country. 

acacia (a ka' shi a ; a ka' sha), n. A 
genus of plants belonging to the great pocl- 
bearing family of Leguminosee. (F. acacia.) 

Acacias are chiefly tropical. They have 
feather-like leaves and small flowers in balls 
or spikes. The Acacia arabica produces gum 
arabic, so much used in preparing gum and 
paste. The yellow wattle, the well-known 
national badge of Australia, is an acacia. 

The acacia of our gardens does not belong 
to the same group, and is sometimes called 
the false acacia. It is a Robinia and was 
introduced from North America, where it is 
called the locust tree. 

Gr. akakia, possibly from ake, point, spike. 

academic (ak a dem'ik), adj. Scholarly : 
formal ; unpractical. (F. academique.) 

This word also relates to an academy- 
college, or university, hence the term 
academic costume, which means the cap and 
gown or academical (ak a dem' ik al, adj.) 
dress worn by members of a university, who 
are then academically (ak a dem' ik al li, 
adv.) clad. 

A member of an academy is an academician 
(a kad em ish' an, n.), but this term is usually 
understood to mean one of the forty-two 
members of the Royal Academy of Arts, 
that is, an R.A. Academicism (ak a dem' 
i sizm, n.) is the system of teaching in such 
an institution, or it may refer to some 
peculiar manner associated with a professor. 
The teaching of Plato is sometimes called 
academism (a kad' em ism, n.), and an 
academician an academist (a kad' em tst. 


L. acadeimcus, from Gr. akademikos. SYN. : 
Learned, literary, scholastic. ANT. : Ignorant, 
illiterate, practical. 

academy (a kad 'em i), n. A place devoted 
to the study or encouragement of arts of all 
kinds. (F. academie.) 

Plato, the great Athenian philosopher, 
taught his pupils in a grove near Athens, 
which was called Academeia from the name 
of its supposed owner, the mythical hero 
Academus. The name has been borrowed 
for many places of higher education, notably 
for the Royal Academy of Arts, the Royal 
Military Academy, the Royal Academy of 
Music, the British Academy, and the many 
academies of France, which deal with all 
questions of art, science, and literature. 

F. academie, from L. academla, Gr. akademeia. 
SYN. : College, institute, seminary, school 

Abyssinian. -The umbrella show* that this Abyssinian 
official is the holder' of an important post. 

Acadian (a ka' di an), ad]. Connected 
with Nova Scotia n. A French-speaking 
native of Nova Scotia. (F. Acadien.)' 

The Vikings, those bold sea-rovers of the 
North, were the first to explore the New 
World and to plant colonies there. About 
985 an Icelander named Erik the Red 
founded the earliest settlement in Greenland, 
and in the year 1000 his son, Leif, was sent 
there from Norway to proclaim the Christian 
faith. Contrary winds drove his ship out of 
her course on to a shore where vines and 
wheat grew wild. 

Two years later another Icelander, Thorfinn 
Karlsefne, tried to plant a colony in this 
" Vineland," which was probably Nova 




Scotia, but he was killed by the natives, and 
the colony was soon abandoned. 

In 1604 a French noble, Pierre de Guast, 
Sieur de Monts, and the great explorer, 
Samuel de Champlain, sailed from Havre 
with authority from the French King to 
establish a colony in- "that part of North 
America to which the French had given the 
name of Acadie (Acadia). How much land 
Acadie included was uncertain, but its 
centre was what is now known as Xova 

The first camp was on the island of St. 
Croix, but owing to sickness a move was soon 
made to a new site chosen by Champlain 
and named Port Royal (now Annapolis, 
Nova Scotia). This was the first European 
colony in Canada. It made progress until 
it was destroyed in 1614 by a party of armed 
men from Virginia. 

In 1621 Acadie was granted by James VI 
of Scotland to Sir William Alexander, who 
changed the name to Nova Scotia, or New 
Scotland. Owing to the wars between 
France and England the country changed 
hands several times. The story of one of the 
unhappy results of these changes is told by 
Longfellow in " Evangeline." 

The French possessions of Acadie and 
Newfoundland passed to Great Britain in 
1713, although French rule in eastern Canada 
did not actually come to. an end until 'after 
the capture of Quebec by* General "Wolfe in 

acajou (ak ' a zhu), n. The 'name of 
several tropical trees. (F. acajpu.) 

The red wood of the cedre. acajou of 
Barbados is used for making cigar boxes. 
Another red wood tree, the caoba of Mexico, 
is called bois d'acajou a meubles. 

The simaruba, a tree with white wood 
found in Brazil, the West Indies, and British 
Guiana, is called the white acajou. 

The cashew-nut or acajou tree is quite 
a different kind of tree. It flourishes in the 
West Indies, and from it comes a resin 
bearing the same name. 

acalycine (a kal' i sin), adj. Without a 
calyx. (F. acalicule.) , 

If we look at a primrose, we see that the 
petals of the flower spring from an outer 
green trumpet-shaped calyx, or sheath, 
quite half an inch long. But not all flowers 
have such a large calyx. In some flowers, 
such as the cow parsnip, this sheath is nothing 
more than a mere base, and in extreme cases, 
like the sallow, there is no calyx at all. In 
other words, the sallow is acalycine. 

Gr. a- not, without, calyx cup of a flower, from 
kalyptein to cover. 

acanthaceous (a kan tha' she us), adj. 
Having sharp prickles ; resembling the 
acanthus plant or belonging to the acanthus 
family. (F. acanthace.) 

A plant which is like the acanthus is 
called acanthine (a kan' thin, adj.), and a 

plant or other thing which is prickly or 
spinous is said to be acanthoid (a kan' thoid 
adj.) or acanthous (a kan' thus, adj.). See 

Acanthopterygii (a kan thop ter i j ' i I) , The order to which the spiny-finned 
fishes belong. (F. acanthopterigiens.) 

There are a great many different kinds of 
fishes, some living in fresh and some in salt 
water, that carry spears and lances. For- 
tunately for their neighbours the spines are 
not often placed so that they can be used for 

One of the best-known is the perch, which 
is so common in British inland waters. This 
fish has 14 or 15 spines on the first dorsal 
or back fin alone, besides four or five spines 
on other fins. The ruffe, or pope, has 13 to 
15 spines on the dorsal fin, while the bass, 
or sea perch, has eight or nine spines on the 
first dorsal. 

A fish belonging to this order is an 
acanthopterygian (a kan thop ter ij' i an, .), 
and is thus an acanthopterygious (a kan thop 
ter ij ' i us, adj.) dweller in water. 

Gr. akantha prickle, pterygion fin. 

Acanthus. One of the group of plants that bear this 
name, and the architectural ornament that man 
copied from it. 

acanthus (a kan' thus), n. A group of 
plants ; an ornament used to decorate a 
building. (F. acanthe.) 

Numbering hundreds of species, the 
acanthus is mostly native of the Near and 
Far East. Some are now grown in British 
gardens, one of the finest being the prickly 
bear's breech. The acanthus was well known 
to the ancients. The plant grows from one to 
five feet high, and in many varieties the leaves 
are prickly. 

It is thought that a chance happening first 
gave the Greek builders the idea of ornament- 
ing the capitals of their pillars with a grouping 
of acanthus- leaves, which ever since has been 
one of the features by which we can dis- 
tinguish the Corinthian order of architecture 
from the Doric and Ionic. 

Perhaps Greek masons were building a 
temple in ancient Corinth. A plain Doric 
capital, intended to crown the top of one of 
the pillars, had been lying on the ground for 
many days. At last the builder came to 
remove it, and he found that an acanthus 




plant had sprung up and partly hidden the 
stone with its handsome leaves. The builder 
was struck by the graceful form of the foliage 
outlined against the stone, and resolved to 
decorate his capitals in future with similar 
leaves, carved by the mason's chisel. 

Gr. akanthos, from akantha prickle, thorn, from 
ake point. 

acardiac (a kar' di ak), adj. Having no 
heart. (F. acarde.) 

Gr. a- not, without, kardia heart. 

Acarida (a kar' i da), The order to 
which the mites and ticks belong. (F. 

Members of this order are called acaridan 
(a kar' i dan, adj.), or acaridean (ak a rid' i 
an, adj.), insects. See acarus. 

acarpous (a kar' pus), adj . Without fruit. 
(F. acarpe.) A tree that does not bear fruit 
is said to be acarpous. 

Gr. a- not, without, karpos fruit. 

acarus (ak a rus), n. The family of tiny 
spider-like creatures that includes the mites 
and ticks. (F. acare, acarus.) 

Probably you have looked with wonder 
through a microscope at the mites that live 
so actively in old cheese It is more inter- 
esting and less painful than being attacked 
by harvest mites. 

Mites are of many kinds, and are found in 
every country. Ugly and horrible they 
appear to our eyes when magnified, but how 
marvellous their forms, how curious their 
busy lives ! Some bite, some pierce, some 
suck. Many are born with six legs, which 
increase later to eight. Some are blind ; 
others have four eyes. Some roam at large : 
others attach themselves to larger animals. 

Gr. akari a tiny mite ; from a- not, keirein to 
cut ; something too small to cut. 

acatalectic (a kat a lek' tik), adj. Having 
its full number of syllables ; complete. (F. 

The ancient Greeks and Romans had no 
rhyme-makers. The lines of their classical 
poetry did not rhyme ; it was the regular 
arrangement of syllables and cadence that 
held them together as poetry. To obtain 
rhythm in poetry, a certain uniform rise and 
fall of sound are necessary. Uniformity, in 
turn, requires a measure, and the unit of 
measure in rhythm is called a foot. 

The Greeks and Romans divided the 

rhythm into feet of two, three, or four 

syllables. Take a line of three metrical 

feet, with the syllables arranged as follows : 

Short, long, short/ short, long, short/ short. 

long, short. 

Such a line is acatalectic, or complete. 
But if you write the line with the syllables : 
Short, long, short/ short, long, short/ short, 


that is with the third syllable of the third foot 
left out, then the line is catalectic. Modern 
poets often depend on rhyme and fancy, 
rather than on strict measure, for their effects. 
Late L. acatalecticus, from Gr. a- not, kata- 
legein to stop short. 

acatalepsy (a kat' a lep si), n. The 
quality of being beyond our understanding. 
(F. acatalepsie.) 

Anything that cannot be known is 
acataleptic (a kat a lep' tik, adj.), and one who 
believes we know nothing certainly, that all 
our knowledge is open to doubt, is an 
acataleptic (n.). 

Gr. a- not. katalepsia holding fast, compre- 

acauline (a kawl' in),, adj. Seeming to be 
without a stem. (F. acaule.) Acaulescent 
(a kawl es' ent), acaulose (a kawl 6z'), 
acaulous (a kawl 'us) have the same meaning. 

Many plants have their leaves so close to 
their roots that scarcely any stem is shown, 
as in the case of lichens. All plants, how- 
ever, have a stem of some kind, as distinct 
from root and leaf, even if it is so flattened 
as to be only a thin, but important, junction 
between the two. 

Gr. a- not, without, kaulos, L. cauhs stalk. 

Acauline. Lichens, of wh'cn scarcely any stern is 
shown, are acauline plants. 

Accadian (ak kad' i an), n. A member of 
an ancient people that lived in Babylonia 
before the Babylonian kingdom arose ; their 
language, also called Sumerian adj. Be- 
longing to that early race. 

Pages of dictionaries explaining the 
language of the Accadian or Akkadian race, 
inscribed on brick tablets, have been found 
by men while digging out the sand mounds 
which cover some of the once mighty cities 
of Babylonia. In Genesis x, 10, we read of 
Babel and Accad, in the land of Shinar. 
Although the Accadians lived about 5,000 
years ago, they had a wonderful civilization. 
They invented the wedge-shaped, or cunei- 
form writing, which, clearly impressed on the 
sun-dried tiles they used as the pages of their 
books of laws and history, still enables 
learned men to piece together the story of 
Babylonia and Assyria. 

This people, together with their conquerors, 
the Babylonians and Assyrians, have long 
since perished, but their brick-writings have 
endured for thousands of years, and will 
probably last far longer than our modern 
books of paper. 



accede (ak sed'), v.i. To agree ; to come 
into office, especially of a king to the throne. 
(F. acceder.) See accession. 

L. acceder e ; ac- (=ad) to, cedere to come, 
yield, agree. 

accelerando (a chel er an' do), adv. 
Gradual quickening of tune. 

This word is frequently used as a direction 
In musical compositions, and shows that the 
time of the music is to be increased, not at 
once, but gradually. This direction is nearly 
always shortened to Accel., but when the 
quickening is spread over several bars it is 
written in full. 

Ital. (pres. p.) from L. accelerare,iro\nac- = ad 
to, celerare to quicken (celer quick). 

accelerate (aksel'erat), v.t. To cause to 
go faster. (F. accelerer.) 

In making a motor-car run faster you 


Accelerator. A is the accelerator pedal, B the 

connecting rod, and C the throttle lever which 

allows gas to pass into the cylinders through the 

induction pipe, D. 

accelerate its rate of progress, the increased 
pace being caused by an accelerative (ak sel' 
er a tiv, adj.] force. When a rate of progress 
is continually increasing it is caused by an 
accelerating (ak sel' er at ing, adj.) force. 

If you watch very closely an athlete who 
is running in a hundred yards' race you may 
notice that he increases his speed in the second 
half of the contest. It is not possible for 
him to run very fast from the beginning of a 
race, and top speed is only reached gradually. 
AK the time that he is striving to reach his 
greatest speed he is increasing his rate of 
progress, which is acceleration (ak sel er 
a' shun, .). 

Again, supposing you were to drop a ball 
from the roof of a high building it would 
fall at the increasing rate of 32 feet every 
second. In the first second it -would fall 

1 6 feet, in the next 48 feet, in the third 
80 feet, so that at the end of three seconds 
it would have dropped 144 feet. 

Although acceleration generally indicates 
quickening, in mechanics it may also mean a 
slowing down. A quickening speed is known 
as positive acceleration, a decreasing speed 
negative acceleration, or, as it is more often 
called, retardation. 

L. accelerare, from ac- ( ad) to (emphatic), 
celer swift. SYN. : Advance, expedite, hasten, 
hurry, quicken. ANT. : Delay, hinder, impede, 

accelerator (ak sel' er at or), n. Someone 
or something that causes an increase of 
speed ; a muscle or nerve that makes an 
organ work more quickly. (F. accelerateur .) 

When a motor-car driver wishes to pass 
another vehicle going in the same direction 
and at about the same pace he has to increase 
the speed of his vehicle. In some cases there 
is a foot-lever, in others a hand-lever, a touch 
of which causes the car to go forward at a 
higher speed by reason of its allowing more 
gas from the carburettor to reach the engine. 
This lever, because of its action on the 
engine, is called the accelerator. 

accent (ak' sent), n. Emphasis given to 
one syllable of a word by laying stress upon 
it or by a different pitch or tone of the voice ; 
also a mark written over a vowel, to show 
how it is pronounced, as in French, v.t. To 
lay stress upon; to emphasize.. (F. accent; 

In this word, for instance, we may em- 
phasize the first syllable, ac ' cent, when the 
word becomes a noun, or by shifting the 
stress to the second syllable, accent' ', it be- 
comes a verb. The mark ' is used to denote 
the accent on a word, and also to show that a 
syllable not usually pronounced is to be 
treated on this occasion as a separate syllable. 
Take, for example, Shelley's beautiful lines 
from " The Cloud " : 

" That orbed maiden with white fire laden 
Whom mortals call the moon." 

Orbed is generally pronounced #s one 
syllable, but this would spoil the rhythm of the 
lines, so the accent is placed over its second 
syllable. But in the sense of "emphasis" 
or "stress" the accents in this line are on 
orb, maid, white, lad, and in the next line on 
mor, call, moon. 

There are many other ways in which the 
accent may fall, and by which poetry may be 
varied, as in these lines : 

" Like the leaves of the forest when Summer is 


That host with their banners at sunset were 

Accent gives life and liveliness to language ; 
without it language becomes wearisome. 
Each language has its own peculiar rules for 
accent. This is why we can generally recog- 
nize when a person is not talking in his native 
tongue. He speaks with a foreign accent. 

In English there is a tendency to move the 
accent as far forward as possible, as in a 




word like comfortable, borrowed from the 
French, who accent the a, while we accent 
the com. 

There are many words pronounced with 
different accents to express different ideas, 
such as tor' ment, con 'test, con' trust, 
in 'suit, all of which are nouns, while torment', 
contest ', contrast ', insult ' are verbs. Au'- 
gust, the month, is quite distinct from 
august ' meaning grand, and this difference 
shows how the common use of a word leads to 
the shifting of the accent towards the be- 
ginning of the word. 

The sign ' and its double " are used to 
represent minutes and seconds, as 6 hrs 4' 
15", and feet and inches, as 3 yards 
2' 10". 

To lay stress upon a syllable is to accent 
(ak sent', v.t.) or accentuate (ak sen' tu at, 
v.t.) it, such stress being accentuation 
(ak sen tu a' shun, n.). Anything relating 
to accent is accentual (ak sen' tu al, adj.). 

L. ac- ad to, cantus singing, from canere (un- 
used supine form cantum). SYN. : Beat, cadence, 
emphasis, rhythm, stress. ANT. : Equableness, 
flow, smoothness. 

accensor (ak sen' sor), n. The person who 
lights and puts out the candles in the Roman 
Catholic Church. 

L.L. accensor, from acccndere to make to glow, 
from ad to, candere to glow. 

accentor (ak sent' or), n. A group of small 
birds related to the warblers. The best 
known is the hedge-sparrow. (F. accenteur.) 

accept (ak sept'), v.t. To receive : to 
agree to (what is offered) ; to approve ; to 
admit the truth of. (F. accepter.) 

In business the word has a special meaning. 
When a merchant owes money to another 
and does not wish to pay immediately, it is 
usual for the creditor to send him what is 
known as a bill of exchange, or draft, that is, 
a printed form stamped by the government 
and claiming payment of the debt by a 
certain time. The merchant who receives 
this form signs it, or accepts it, and returns it 
to the sender. 

As the government stamp makes it a legal 
document this bill can now be discounted 
with a banker or bill-broker, who will pay 
for it a sum less than its face value according 
to the date when it is due. The trade of the 
world is carried on chiefly by the exchange of 
these bills between one country and another. 

Food offered to a starving man is accept- 
able (ak sept' abl, adj.), and is offered 
acceptably (ak sept' a bli, adv.), the act of 
taking it is acceptance (ak sept' ans, n.), or 
acceptation (ak sep ta' shun, n.), and the 
fact that the accepter (ak sept' er, n.) eats 
it shows its acceptability (ak sept a bil' i ti, 
n.) or acceptableness (ak sept' abl nes, n.). 

Acceptation also means the sense in which 
a word or sentence is received. In business, 
a bill that is accepted is called an acceptance 
and the person who accepts it is the acceptor 
(ak sept' or, n.). 

L. acccptare to receive often, frequentative of 
accipcre, from ac- ad to, capere to take. SYN. : 
Admit, approve, avow, receive, take. ANT. : 
Decline, disown, refuse, reject. 

access (ak' ses), n. Admittance ; the 
means, "permission, or opportunity to enter or 
approach ; increase or addition ; an attack 
of illness or of anger or other passion. (F. 

Should you wish to see a private collection 
of paintings or sculptures and you receive 
the owner's permission, they become accessi- 
ble (ak ses' ibl, adj.) to you, and when you 
enter the room you gain access to them. 
The fact that they were to be seen gave them 
accessibility (ak ses i bil' iti, n.). 

An outhouse placed in such a position as to 
be easily approached is situated accessibly 
(ak ses' i bli, adv.). 

When a person inherits a sum of money 

Accentor. The hedge-sparrow, a member of this 
group of small birds. 

he has an access of wealth ; when he becomes 
suddenly ill he has an access of illness. 

L. accessus coming to, from ac- ( = ad) to, 
cedere to come, yield, agree. SYN. : Addition, 
admission, attack, entrance, increase. ANT. : 
Abbreviation, departure, egress, exit, loss. 

accession (ak sesh' un), n. The act of 
agreeing to ; coming into office ; ascending 
the throne ; increase in number or value. 
(F. accession, avenement.) 

In the early hours of the morning of 
June 2ist, 1837, two messengers set out on 
horseback from Windsor Castle on a mission 
of great importance. They were the Arch- 
bishop of Canterbury and the Lord Chamber- 
lain, and they were journeying to Kensington 
Palace to see the Princess Victoria. Reaching 
the palace they requested an audience, and 
although they were told that the princess was 
in " so sweet a sleep " that it would be unkind 
to awaken her, their answer was that their 
mission was urgent and could not be delayed. 




Presently the young girl made her appear- 
ance. She was informed that her uncle 
William IV was dead, and that she was 
Queen of England. The messengers had come 
to announce her accession to the throne. 

The beginning of a new reign is always 
announced by heralds. On the accession of 
King George V the first proclamation was 
read in the Friary Court of St. James's 
Palace by Garter King of Arms on May gth, 
IQIO. The ceremony was afterwards re- 
peated at the Royal Exchange and else- 

SYN. : Addition, arrival, extension, increase, 
installation. ANT. : Abandonment, decrease, 
departure, resignation. 

Accession. A herald on the steps ol tbe Ko>al Exchange announcing 
to the citizens of London the accession of King George V. 

accessory (ak ses' or i), adj. Helping. 
n. One who helps a wrongdoer ; a helpful 
or useful thing added. Another spelling 
is accessary (ak ses' ar i). (F. accessoive ; 
complice.) See accomplice. 

acciaccatura (ach a ka too'ra), n. A 
single small note, sometimes F .twp, directly in 
front of a large, or principal/note, and joined 
to it by a slur. 

These small notes are played so quickly 
that they are of no value from. the point of 
time, the time-beats falling regularly on the 
large, or principal, note. 

Ital. acciaccare to crush, doubtfully connected 
with L. ascia axe. 

accidence (ak' si dens), n. The branch ot 
grammar which deals with the inflections of 
words, that is, with the changes that they 
undergo according to their use. (F. rudi- 


English as we now speak and write it is a 
language of few inflections, such as boy, 
boy's, boys ; look, looks, looking, looked. 
Old English, or Anglo-Saxon as it is some- 
times called, had quite a number of them. 
Our ancestors expressed many changes in the 
meaning or use of a word by altering its 
beginning or end. 

Thus to the adjective god (=good) no fewer 
than ten different endings might be added, 
a, an, e, ena, es, ne, ra, re, u, and um, accord- 
ing to the gender, number, or case of the noun 
with which it .was used. All these endings 
are now lost arid we use the word good on all 

The only adjectives now inflected are this 
and that, with their plural forms 
these and those. We still have 
a number of inflections of verbs, 
but far fewer than in Old 
English. In learning a new 
language it is usual first to study 
its inflections, and so accidence 
comes to mean elementary 

L. accidentia casual occurrences, 
neuter pi. of accidens (gen. 
accident -is), pres. p. of accidere. 
from ac- =ad to, coder e to (be) 

accident (ak' si dent), n. An 
event that proceeds from an 
unknown or unexpected cause. 

(F. accident.) 

Since the people of Great 
Britain have become mainly a 
population of town-dwellers 
using motor -^cars- and buses, 
accident has come to suggest 
chiefly the idea of a street 
accident. In London alone more 
than 7,000 persons are injured 
every year from such causes, 
and the fatal accidents average 
more than two a day, chiefly 
young children. 

Public bodies are working hard to reduce 
such happenings by traffic control, by mark- 
ing the streets with white lines to show 
drivers which part of the road they are to use, 
by making wider and better roads, by altering 
dangerous corners, -and by building subways. 
Here are four simple rules that will help to 
prevent accidents : 

Never step off the pavement without making 
sure that the road is clear. 

In crossing the road look to your right for 
the first half and to your left for the second 
half of the crossing. You will thus be looking 
towards advancing traffic. When one-way 
traffic is in force, look only in the direc- 
tion from which vehicles are advancing. 

Whenever possible cross busy streets at 
points where refuges are provided in the 

When getting off trams or omnibuses go 
to the nearest pavement, that is, to the one 

1. Always cross the road at a refuge if there is one 

4. Do not steal rides on any kind of vehicle 

2. Never run after your hoop into the roadway. 5. Always look both ways before you cross a road. 

3. Never throw fruit skins on the pavement. 

6. Always play in a park rather than in a road. 



on the left ot the vehicle. If you must go to 

the other side peep carefully round the back 

of tram or bus before setting out to reach it. 

SYN. : Calamity, casualty, disaster, mishap, 
misfortune. ANT. : Appointment, certainty, 

accidental (ak si den' tal), ad]. Occurring 
by chance or unexpectedly. (F. accidental.) 

If you gaze steadily for half a minute or so 
it a highly coloured object, especially one on 
i light background, and then quickly look 
away to a stretch of white, such as the ceiling, 
you will see there a patch of colour of the 
same shape as the object that you first looked 
at, but of quite a different tint. Supposing 
that the original colour was blue or red, then 
the patch on the ceiling will be yellow or 
green respectively, and vice versa. 

These latter colours yellow and green 
are known as the accidental or complementary 
colours to blue and red. They are due to the 
.fact that by continued gazing at one colour 
the eyes become tired of that colour. White 
light is a mixture of many colours blended 

The eye, which has tired of blue light, 
therefore sees only the rest of the colours that 
make up the white of the object to which it 
turns. These remaining colours make a 
yellow patch on the ceiling and yellow is 
therefore the accidental or complementary 
colour to blue. Anything happening accident- 
ally (ak si dent' al li, adv.) occurs by chance. 

Accipiter. - The sparrow- 

hawk, a member of this 
* roup 

Acclaim. A crowd acclaiming the King and Queen with shouts and the 
waving of flags. 

SYN. : Casual, chance, incidental, occasional. 
ANT. : Appointed, certain, intended. 

accidentals (ak si den' tals), Certain 
ootes in music. (F. signes accidentels.) 

Accidentals are due to a change of key 
.from that in which a piece started. They are 
shown by the sign for sharp , flat , or 

natural fa placed in front of the note in 

accipiter (ak sip' it er), n. A group of 
small birds of prey, the best known of which 
is the sparrow-hawk. (F. accipitres.) 

Most of those birds of prey that hunt in 
the daytime are accipitres ( Their 
g^KaxsK^K^^^^^^^^B keen sight, combined 
with their power of 
flight and of swoop- 
ing on their prey, 
which they seize with 
their strong curved 
beak and claws, 
makes them formid- 
able enemies to other 
birds and to small 
mammals. Birds 
belonging to or re- 
sembling members of 
this group are acci- 
pitral (ak sip' i tral, 
adj.) or accipitrine 
(ak sip' i trin, adj.). 
L. acceptare (fre- 
quentative), from ac- =ad to, capere to seize. 
Others explain the word as swiftwinged. (Gr. 
okys, swift, pier on wing.) 

acclaim (a klam'), v.t. To applaud 
loudly ; to announce with joy. v.i. To shout 
applause n. A shout of applause. (F. 
acclamer ; acclamation.) 

;It is fairly certain that our ancestors made 
even more noise in their assemblies than we 
do, and they have handed down to us many 
curious customs by which 
we show our approval of 
public performances. 

Strictly speaking, acclam- 
ation (ak kla ma' shun, n.) 
should be confined to shout- 
ing and applause to hand 
clapping, but the two ex- 
pressions now mean much 
the same thing. In olden 
times many a vote was taken 
simply by the shouts of the 
voters. In the House of 
Commons the members stil? 
shout "Aye ' or " No " 
when the Speaker puts 
question to them " I think 
the ' Ayes ' have it," he 
modestly suggests. " The 
Noes ' have it," some 
opponent cries, and then the 
more reliable method ol 
voting by going into different 
lobbies is pursued. 

Questions of peace and ol 
war were settled thus, but the 
noise was increased by the clashing of spears 
and swords against the shields of the warriors. 
The clapping of hands and banging of the 
floor with feet and sticks with which we greet 
a successful performer in an acclamatory (a 
klam' a to ri, adj.) manner is undoubtedly a 
survival of more warlike customs. 

L. ac- =ad to, clam'are to shout. SYN. : Applaud, 
cheer, praise. ANT. : Denounce, deride, hiss. 




Why the former is more Successful in making himself at Home in Strange Climates 

acclimatize (a kli' ma tiz), v.t. To 
accustom to a new climate, especially to 
one which differs considerably from the 
native climate of man, animals, and plants. 
(F. acclimater.) 

All animals and plants in their wild state 
are wonderfully adapted for living in' the 
climate of their native land. Arctic animals 
and plants have very warm coverings, 
tropical ones are skilful in taking shelter 
from the sun's scorching rays; Those of 
damp climates are provided with means of 
throwing off the too abundant rain. Is it 
possible for them to be enabled to live in a 
climate different from their native one ? 

Remains of elephants, rhinoceroses, tigers, 
hyenas and other animals now confined to 
tropical countries have been found in Great 
Britain. The fact that 
the elephants and 
rhinoceroses were 
clothed in thick, woolly 
hair shows that they 
had to bear a colder 
climate, and if, as 
naturalists believe, 
they made their way 
from colder to warmer 
regions, they must 
have been able to ac- 
climatize themselves. 
The process was very 
slow. Can man accom- 
plish it more speedily ? 

At first glance the 
answer seems to be, 
Yes. Wherever man 
has strayed on the 
earth he has taken his 
domestic animals with 
him. They bear as- 
tonishing changes in 
climate, but we must 
remember that man 
keeps a careful watch 
over them, provides 
them with food and 

Acclimatization. Flamingos from the tropics 
wading in the pond of a London park. 

shelter and tends them when sick or ailiivg." 
In most cases they would soon perish if left 

to themselves. They cannot be said" to- be , S 4 hun r JL) 

but again we have to admit that the climate 
of these islands differs but little from that of 
the lands from which the animals first came. 
Such animals are rather naturalized than 

What we want is an instance of really 
wild animals being introduced to a climate 
quite different from that of their native land. 
Such experiments are now being tried by the 
zoological societies of various countries. 
Instead of confining tropical animals in stuffy 
cages and stalls with artificial heating, they 
are allowing them to enjoy the freedom of 
large open-air spaces with shelters to which 
they may retire at will. 

Progress in this direction may reveal many 
cases of true acclimatization. At present the 
best examples are offered by rabbits and rats, 
which during the last 
hundred years or so 
have spread into 
almost all quarters of 
the globe. The wild 
rabbit was only intro- 
duced into Australia 
gome 70 years ago. It 
has now increased to 
such an extent as to be 
a dangerous pest. 

Birds that swim or 
wade are 
easily accHmatized. 
Flamingos a<nd-v peli- 
cans from the trppicg, 
Mongolian geese and 
Greenland ducks may 
all be seen living in 
almost a natural state 
in the ponds of the 
London parfys. s , Their 
habit of flying from 
one country to another 
according to the season 
largely .accounts -for 
the ease with which 
they adaptthemselves. 
When not helped by 
man tlie .process is called acclimation (a kli 
ma' shun.^z.) or acclimatation (a kli ma te' 

really acclimatized. 

The old seafarers used, to carry livestock 
with them on their long voyages. W r hen they 
called at far-distant, uninhabited islands they 
would set a few of these animals ashore in the 
hope that they might multiply and so provide 
a store of meat for future occasions. These 
marooned animals often throve exceedingly, 
and many islands of the Pacific are now well 
supplied with \\ild horses, asses, goats, and 

These would seem to be good examples of 
acclimatization (a kli ma tl za' shun, n.), 

So far as acclimatization . involves- .ability 
to live in widely varying -climates it is safe to 
say that man is more successful than any 
other animal. He inhabits the frozen arctic 
regions and flourishes in the burning 
tropics ; the arid desert, and the rain-soaked 
forest, the swampy delta and the lofty plateau 
are alike his home and he can wander from 
one to the other. But " home " is just the 
word that explains man's success. He does 
not live in a wild state. The poorest savage 
has learned to provide himself with some 
shelter against the attacks of climate, and 




without that ability he would soon disappear - 
Increased civilization means increased 
power of acclimatization in this sense. The 
West Coast of Africa and the jungles of 
Panama, in Central America, once regarded 
as " the white man's grave," have been made 
safe for civilized men by the discovery of 
means to fight and cure malaria. In Panama 
the death rate is lower than that of many a 
European city. 

Sudden change of climate must always 
cause discomfort. It may endanger health 
and even lead to death, but greater knowledge 
lessens these risks. Attention to the laws 
ol health will enable most men to acclimatize 
themselves to almost any climate. 

It is interesting to discover that the negro 
races seem even more successful * in doing 
so than the white races. 

L. ac- (=ad) to, F. climat, Gr. klima (gen. 
klimat-os) climate. 

acclivity (a kliv' i ti), n. A slope upwards, 
especially a steep one. (F. montee.) 

L. acclivitas, from ac- =ad to, clivus slope. 
SYN. : Ascent, incline, rise. ANT. : Decline, 
declivity, descent. 

accolade (ak ko lad'), n. The chief act 
in the ceremony of conferring knighthood ; 
a decorative moulding over a window or a 
door ; a brace joining two or more staves in 
music. (F. accolade.) 

In different periods and countries the 
accolade of knighthood has taken varying 
forms. The Norman kings conferred it by a 
blow, and not always a gentle one, on the 
cheek or neck ; the early monarchs of France 
kissed the new knight on the cheek. The 
latter developed into a hearty embrace, 
while the Norman method became a gentle 
touch on the shoulder .with a sword. 

To-day the claimant for knighthood kneels 
before the King or Queen, who lays the flat of 
a drawn sword upon his shoulder and says, 
" Arise, Sir William," or whatever his 
Christian name may be. He is then said to 
have been " dubbed " knight. See knight. 

Ital. accollare (p.p. accollata i.), L. ac- =ad to, 
round, collum neck. 

accommodate (a kom' mo dat), v.t. 
To fit, to make suitable ; to bring in 
harmony ; to provide lodging ior. (F. 

Seaside apartments are accommodation (a 
kom 6 da' shun, n.). The owner is accommo- 
dative (a kom' 6 da tiv, adj.) if he can accept 
or accommodate us, and if he is obliging in 
manner he is accommodating (a kom' 6 
dat ing, adj.) and therefore acts towards us 
accommodatingly (a kom' 6 dat ing li, adv.). 

Accommodation bills are those which are 
drawn to supply a want of money. A person 
in need of money may find an accommodating 
friend who is willing to accept a bill drawn 
upon him, in the hope that its value will later 
be paid back by the borrower. An accommo- 
dation bill differs from an ordinary bill of 
exchange in that it is not a return for value 

An accommodation ladder is a small 
ladder or flight of steps let down over the 
side of a ship to enable passengers or seamen 
from small boats to reach the deck of the 

L. accommodare, from ac- ad to, commodus fit, 
suitable. SYN. : Adapt, arrange, conform, oblige, 
serve. ANT. : Disoblige, incommode, incon- 

accompaniment (a kum' pan i ment), 
77. Something added to another thing to 
give greater completeness ; instrumental 
music played to accompany a song. (F. 

Accolade. King George V giving the accolade to 
a naval officer for distinguished service. 

The drum, tom-tom, and tambourine all 
started in a strange way. They had their 
origin in the desire of the earliest singers to 
beat time upon an object that would make a 
noise. It is quite possible that the first 
accompaniment was nothing more musical 
than the banging together of two pieces of 
wood. Later it was found that the twanging 
of a tightened string gave a note that helped 
the singer, and that different degrees of 
tightness caused the strings to emit different 




These simple discoveries led to the making 
of instruments such as lyres, harps, and 
violins, and finally to the piano. The 
earliest lyre seems to have been formed by 
stretching strings over an empty tortoise 
shell. This survives in the mandolin. 
Orpheus, the wonderful mythical singer of the 
Greeks, used a lyre of this kind, and is said 
to have achieved miraculous effects by it. 

accompany (a kum' pa ni), v.t. To go 
with ; to attend as a companion ; to play 
the piano or other instrument to the singing 
of (another person). (F. accompagner .) 

One who accompanies a singer is an 
accompanist (a kum' pan ist, n.), and the 
music he plays is the accompaniment (a kum' 
pa ni ment, n.) See accompaniment. 

F. a to, compagnon companion, O.F. competition, 
compaignon. SYN. : Attend, convoy, escort, 
follow. ANT. : Abandon, avoid, desert, leave. 

accomplice (a kom' plis), n. A com- 
panion in crime, one who shares the guilt- 
(F. complice.) 

In carrying out any crime, such as murder, 
theft, or a plot against the State, there is 
always a leader known in law as the principal. 
Those who share the guilt with him are called 
abettors, accessories, or accomplices, and they 
are regarded as less guilty than the principal, 
with the one exception of high treason, in 
which case the law knows nothing of different 
degrees of guilt. 

In other crimes the abetter is he who urges, 
encourages, or assists in the preparations for 
the crime but takes no direct part in it. 
There are two forms of accessory. The 
accessory before the fact is he who takes njo 
direct part in the crime, but is aware that .a 
crime is to be committed and takes no action 
to prevent it. 

The accessory after the fact knows that a 
crime has been committed, associates with 
the criminal, and either assists his escape or 
takes no steps for his capture. Accomplices 
are those who actually share in the com- 
mission of- the crime, but act under the 
direction. of the principal. 

L. com- = con-, cum with, plicare to fold, twine 
(cp. complex). Ac- may represent the indefinite 
article a, or L. ad. . SYN. : Accessory,-- ally, co- 
adjutor, confederate. ANT. : Adversary, enemy, 
foe, rival. 

accomplish (a kom' plish), v.t. To com- 
plete ; to carry out. (F. accomplir.) ' 

At the end of the nineteenth century the 
highest praise that could be given to a young 
lady was to say that she was highly accom- 
plished. By this was meant that she had 
been to a " finishing " school, where she had 
" completed " her education by learning 
such accomplishments (a kom' plish nients, as music, singing, some foreign lan- 
guages, and how to conduct herself in 

To-day one's education is never regarded 
as finished. In other words, to complete 
one's education is a thing that is not accom- 
plishable (a kom' plish abl, adj.). 

O.F. acomplir (pros. p. aconr^/zssant) , from L. 
ac-=ad to, complete to fill up. SYN. : Achieve, 
finish, fulfil, perform, realize. ANT. : Defeat, 
destroy, frustrate, mar, spoil. 

accord (a kord'), v.t. To bring to agree- 
ment ; to grant ; to consent, n. Agreement ; 
harmony. (F. accorder ; accord.) 

From very ancient times the heart has 
been regarded as the seat of love and 
affection, an idea which we frequently 
adopt. Thus we speak of those holding the 
same opinions as being in hearty agreement, 
and we accord a hearty vote of thanks. 

It is interesting to see from the derivation 
that exactly the same idea is expressed by 
" in accord," " in accordance (a kord' ans, 
n.) with." To act accordingly (a kord' ing li, 
adv.) is to do something in agreement with 
what has gone before. An accorder (a kord' 
er, n.) is one who agrees or consents. 

Musical instruments and human feelings 
that harmonize are accordant (a kord' ant, 
adv.) and sound or act accordantly (a kord' 
ant li, adv.). In literature this word recalls 
the time when all books were written by 
hand ; the Gospel according (a kord' ing, 
adj.) to St. John once meant a faithful copy 
in agreement with the original words of St. 

L.L. accordare to make agree, from ac-~ ad to, 
cor (gen. cord-is) heart. SYN. : Agree, concede, 
harmonize, yield. ANT. : Deny, differ, disagree, 

Accordion. A popular musical instrument that was 

introduced in our country from Austria about a 

century ago. 

accordion (a kor' di on), n. A portable 
musical instrument worked by bellows action 
and supplied with a small keyboard. (F. 

The accordion, introduced from Austria 
about 100 years ago, is an instrument be- 
loved of sailors and trippers. To play it well 
requires considerable skill. 

The sound is produced by opening out the 
bellows to take in air and then compressing 
them to force the air out. The air is then 
driven through small openings across which 
stretch little tongues of metal. These vibrate 
at different rates according to their length 
and thus produce different notes. The keys 




are worked by the right hand, each one giving 
two notes. 

L.L. and Ital. accordare to tune or harmonize. 

accost (a kost'), v.t. To greet ; to speak 
to. (F. accoster.) 

This word is used much less frequently 
than in olden times, when it had the meaning 
of approach or contact of all kinds. There is 
now some idea of forwardness and rudeness 
associated with the term. 

It is not right to accost strangers, and it is 
not always safe for strangers to reply to those 
who accost them. In the case of beggars the 
law regards it as a punishable offence to accost 
passers-by for the sake of obtaining alms. 

L.L. accostare, ac-=ad to, costa rib, side. SYN. : 
Address, approach, confront, salute. ANT.: 
Check, depart, elude, rebuff. 

account (a kouiit'), v.t. To reckon ; to 
consider. v.i. To render an account ; to 
furnish a reason, n. Reckoning, description, 
explanation. (F. compter ; regarder comme.) 

When few people could read or write, 
accounts were kept by making marks with 
chalk, or by cutting notches on sticks. Now 
the system is that of book-keeping. The 
account books are ruled with money columns, 
and entries are made on one side for mone}' 
spent and on the other for that received. By 
adding up the two sides and finding the 
difference it is possible to account for the 
state of one's money affairs. 

Merchants and tradesmen send to their 
customers copies of such accounts when 
seeking for payment. If the full amount 
due is not paid at once, but only a portion 
is sent, the customer is said to pay some- 
thing " on account." Business depends to 
such an extent on these forms that the 
expression " in account with " now means 
simply doing business with. 

In law those who owe money are said to be 
accountable (a kount' abl, adj.) ; they have 
an accountability (a kount' a bil i ti; n.) or 
accountableness (a kount' abl nes, n.) for a 
certain sum of money. But these words are 
more often used without any idea of money 
or accounts, as when we say a madman is 
not accountable for his actions, and therefore 
has no accountability for them. 

Another use which shows no connexion 
with numbers is that in which a writer or 
speaker is said to give an excellent account 
of some event. Do not worry yourself " on 
my account " simply means " for me," and 
"on no account " is only another way of 
saying " by no means." 

L. ac-=ad to, computare, from com-=cum with, 
putare to clear up, reckon ; O.F. aconter. SYN. : 
n. Bill, record, recital, statement, v. Deem, ex- 
plain, reckon. ANT. : n. Misstatement, silence. 
v. Mystify, perplex, undervalue. 

accountant (a kount' ant), n. One who 
deals with accounts. (F. comptable.) 

Owing to world -wide trade, the credit 
system, and the custom of banking money 
and paying by cheques or bills, the accountant 

needs to be a very well-trained person. His 
profession is known as accountancy (a kount' 
an si, n.} or accountantship (a kount' ant 
ship, .). ' 

The formation of companies, in which 
people become partners without controlling 
them, has led tq the custom of calling in 
outside accountants to examine the books. 
These are known as chartered or incorporated 
accountants. All public companies are 
bound by law to obtain from such persons a 
certificate that their accounts are correct. 

accouplement (a kup' 1 ment), n. The 
act of joining two things together ; the tie 
that joins two things together : a brace. 
(F. accouplement.} 

This term is used chiefly by joiners and 
engineers, who have to fix together the parts 
of the furniture, building, or engine which 
they are constructing. The electrician also 
employs the word to describe the joining of 
like poles in batteries or dynamos. 

O.F. cople, from L. copula band, from co-=cwm 
with, (obsolete) apere to unite. 

Accouplement. Engineers accoupling or joining 
together tubes in building a locomotive. 

accoutre (a koo' ter), v.t. To dress : to 
equip. (F. accoutrer.) 

Used especially of military outfits or 
accoutrements (a koo' ter ments, n.) When 
soldiers fought chiefly with bows and arrows 
or swords and spears, it was possible to 
protect the body by steel armour. Accoutre- 
ments were then very heavy, and it was quite 
impossible for cavalry to mount their horses 
without help. 

For modern soldiers the chief aim is to 
produce a light but strong means of carrying 
their kit, their ammunition, and their gas 
masks. The shrapnel helmet is, however, 
a return to an old style. Strong canvas 




Accoutrements. The accoutrements of a mounted soldier and his horse as used in the sixteenth century 
contrasted with that of cavalry at the present time. The armour of the old-time warrior is engraved and gilded. 

webbing is the material now chiefly used in 
making accoutrements. 

The word may possibly be derived ultimately 
from L.L. custor keeper, through O.F. a- =ad, 
cousteur, coustre the sexton who looked after the 
robes, G. Ktister. SYN. : Array, fit out, furnish. 
ANT. : Bare, denude, strip. 

accredit (a kred' it , v.t. To vouch for ; 
to send with official documents giving author- 
ity. (F. accrediter.) 

When an ambassador, a consul, or other 
State messenger is sent from one country to 
another he must bear letter or documents 
wh ch show that he has been duly appointed 
for the purpose. Such a man is the accredited 
(a kred' it ed, adj.) agent of his country. 
Extending this use we speak of the best 
accredited story or statement, by which we 
mean' the one supported by the greatest 
evidence in the form of documents. 

F. accrediter, from L. accredere, from ac-=adto, 
credere to trust, to give authority to. SYN. : 
Authorize, credit, empower, trust. ANT. : Dis- 
trust, recall, supersede, suspect. 

accrete (a kret'), v.i. To grow together ; 
to combine round a central body. F. 

The laws of growth are all very mysterious, 
but in minerals they are a little simpler than 
in living creatures. Hang a crystal of alum 
in a saturated solution of the same substance 
and it will steadily increase in size. This is 
growth by accretion (a kre' shun, n.). The 
added particles, also known a^ accretions, 
arrange themselves in very definite positions 
to form crystals, or definite mathematical 

Accretion in natural history is the growth 
together of parts that are usually separate, 
as the petals of a flower, and the separate 

toes that horses once had, but which are now 
accreted. In botany such parts are said to 
be accrete (adj.). 

L. accrescere (p.p. accretits), from ac- =ad to, 
together, crescere to grow. 

accrue (a kroo'), v.i. To grow or 
increase naturally, or unavoidably. (F. 

Used especially with regard to money. 
For example, a sum of money and the 
accruing interest, means the interest which 
must be added to it. 

F. accroitre (p.p. accru), from L. accrescere, 
from ac- =ad to, on, crescere to grow. SYN. : 
Arise, ensue, increase. ANT. : Abate, reduce, 

accumulate (a ku' mu lit), v.t. To heap 
up ; to gather in abundance, v.i. To increase. 
(F. accumuler.) 

Generally used in the sense of gathering 
more than sufficient, and so producing an 
accumulation (a ku mu la/ shun, n.) of un- 
necessary things, as an accumulation of 
rubbish, of odds and ends, and so on. The 
accumulation of wealth must also be regarded 
as harmful if pursued for its own sake merely. 

Effects which follow one another in regular 
succession are called accumulative (a ku' mu 
la tiv, adj.) and the causes which produce 
them act accumulatively (a ku ' mu la tiv li, 
adv.) . 

L. accumulare (p.p. accumulates), from ac- =ad 
to, cumulus heap. SYN. : Aggregate, collect, 
hoard, store. ANT. : Disperse, expend, scatter, 

accumulator (a ku' mu lat or), n. One 
who accumulates ; a storage battery for 
electricity. (F. accumulates.) 

With the great increase in motoring and 
in the use of wireless apparatus, the accumu- 
lator, or secondary battery, has become 




Accumulator. 1. Positive plate or anode. 2. Negative plate or cathode. 3. Celluloid separator. 4. Two 

positive plates joined by a bridge. 5. Three negative plates joined by a bridge. 6. Celluloid cell case. 

7. Terminal parts. 8 and 9. Arrangement of a two-volt and a four-volt accumulator. 

almost a household article. It consists usually 
of a series of leaden plates arranged in pairs 
and placed in water to which a little sulphuric 
acid has been added. 

Unlike a primary battery it produces no 
current of electricity, but if one is passed 
through it for some hours a chemical change 
occurs. One set of plates is partly dissolved 
and the surface of the other set is coated with 
lead oxide. The battery is then said to be 
charged. If the plates are now connected by 
wires, a reverse chemical process is set up, 
and a current passes in the opposite direction 
to that of the charging current. 

We see then that the battery does not 
actually store electricity, but is a means of 
changing electrical into chemical energy and 
vice versa. 

accurate (ak' kii rat), adj. Careful ; 
without mistake ; exact. (F. exact.) 

Used chiefly of measurement and of 
calculations. We live in an age of machinery. 
Machines will not work properly unless their 
parts fit with accuracy (ak' ku ra si, n.) and 
are accurately (ak' ku rat li, adv.) adjusted. 

Many modern workshops are provided with 
measuring machines which will show varia- 
tions of one millionth of an inch. Chemists 
use balances of such accuratenes; (ak' ku rat 
nes, n.) that they can weigh to within one 
thousandth of a grain or one seven-millionth 
of a pound. 

Other examples of accurate measurement 
are provided by the work of astronomers, 
who measure angles to one hundredth of a 
second, or one millionth of a right angle, and 
calculate an eclipse to the nearest second. 

L. accurare (p.p. accuratus), from ac- =ad to, 
curare to attend carefully. SYN. : Correct, 

faithful, precise, truthful. ANT. : Careless, 
defective, imperfect, inexact. 

accursed (a ker' sed), adj. Ill-fated ; 
detestable ; lying under a curse ; involving 
misery. Another spelling is accurst (a kerst ') . 
(F. maudit, detestable.) 

A thing is said to be accursed when every- 
thing connected with it goes wrong, no matter 
how hard one tries to achieve success. 

A.-S. a- intensive, cursian to curse, M.E.. 
acursien (part, acursed). SYN. : Disastrous, ill- 
fated, unlucky. ANT. : Favourable, lucky, 

accusative (a ku' za tiv), adj. In inflected 
languages, belonging to the form or case used 
for the direct object of a verb. n. The 
accusative case. 

In English the objective case includes 
both the accusative and dative of inflected 
languages. See accidence. 

Anything relating to the accusative case is 
accusatival (a ku za tl' val,. adj.)- and any- 
thing used like the accusative case is used 
accusatively (a ku' za tiv li, adv.). 

F. accusatif ; L. accusativus the accusing case, 
a defendant being regarded as the object of a 

accuse (a kuz'), v.t. To bring a charge 
against ; to complain of ; to find fault with. 
(F. accuser.) 

Used especially in law cases, where the 
accuser (a kuz' er, n.), prosecutor, plaintiff, 
or petitioner is he who brings the charge, the 
accused (a kuzd', n.) defendant or respondent 
is the person charged, and the accusation (ak 
ku za' shun, n.) or indictment is the charge 
brought. When a definite accusation is 
before the court the case is accusatorial 




;a ku za tor' i al, adj.), in contrast with 
a case of inquiry, which is inquisitorial. 

Documents brought forward as evidence 
are accusatory (a ku' za tor i, adj.) ; actions 
or persons liable to be accused are accusable 
(a ku' za bl, adj.). Things done in an acctising 
manner are done accusingly (a ku' zing li, 

L. accusare, from ac- =ad to, causa lawsuit, 
charge. SYN. : Arraign, charge, impeach, re- 
proach. ANT. : Absolve, condone, defend, 

accustom, (a kus' torn), v.t. To make 
familiar ; to inure. (F. accoutumer.) 

By constant repetition we may become 
accustomed (a kus' i6md, adj.) to almost 
any act, however difficult it at first appeared. 
Reading, writing, walking, playing the piano, 
cycling, and flying are examples of such 
actions. The whole process of learning 
depends upon the fact that actions become 
easier each time they are repeated, and they 
are not really learnt until we become so 
accustomed to them as to do them without 
conscious effort. 

O.F. a- to, custume, explained as contracted 
from L. consuetudinem, accusative of consuetude 
custom. SYN. : Addict, familiarize, habituate, 
use. ANT. : Alienate, estrange, wean. 

ace (as), n. A very small amount ; an 
atom ; a hair's breadth ; the single pip or 
point on dice or cards ; the die, card, or 
domino with a single spot, which in most 
card games counts highest but in dice always 
lowest. (F. as, iota, a deux pas de.) 

In racquets, lawn- 
tennis, badminton, 
and other games one 
point in scoring is 
also called an ace. In 
lawn tennis, for ex- 
ample, a ball that is 
" killed " outright, 
or is not returned to 
the server's side of 
the net is an ace, 
and counts a single 
point in scoring. A 
service that is not re- 
turned is called a 
service ace. 

In the French and 
German air services 
during the World 

Ace. Captain Nungesser, \nr__ t-r^-r T Q\ f.~\^4- 
a French ace. War ( I 9I4- 18 ) fight- 

ing pilots were called 

aces when they had brought down five enemy 
aeroplanes. Captain Nungesser, the French 
airman who attempted to fly the Atlantic in 
1927, was an ace. The word came to be used 
in this sense because so much of the fighting 
in the air was carried on by single combat, 
that is, one man against one. 
L. as, a unit, copper coin. 

Aceldama (a kel' da ma; a sel' da ma), 
n. The name of a field near Jerusalem. 
(F. Aceldama.) 

This was the field which was bought with 
the thirty pieces of silver that Judas Iscariot 
received from the chief priests for betraying 
Jesus. The priests turned it into a cemetery 
for strangers. For nearly a thousand'' years 
it was used as a cemetery for Christian 
pilgrims, and many of the Crusaders were 
buried there. The word means " field of 
blood," and is now applied in a general sense 
to any place of slaughter. 

acephalous (a sef a lus), adj. Without 
a head. (F. acephale.) 

Certain animals that have practically no 
head are called acephalous or acephalan (a 
sef a Ian, adj.). Oysters, for instance, are 
acephalous. Another 
example of the 
acephalans ( is 
the large greyish 
mussel often found 
in ponds and slow- 
flowing livers the 
swan or pond mussel. 
It has a mouth, 
which is in front of 
its foot, and it has 
flaps on each side of 
its mouth which 
might be called lips, 
but it has no jaws 
and no real head. 

Things that have 
no proper beginning, such as an imperfect 
manuscript or a verse starting with a 
short foot, can be called acephalous. 
In Herodotus (iv, 191) and other ancient 
writers there are wonderful stories of men 
who had no heads, whose eyes and mouths 
grew in their chests. These strange races 
were called acephali (a sef a II, 
The name has also been applied at different 
times to various religious and political 
parties who have disowned their leaders. 

Gr. a- not, without, kephale head. 

acerb (a serb), adj. Sour ; sharp to the 
taste. (F. acerbe.) 

All who have tasted an unripe apple will 
recall the sharpness experienced by the roof 
of the mouth when the fruit came into contact 
with it. That was because the apple was 
acerb. The sourness or sharpness is called 
acerbity (a ser bi ti, n.). When we say harsh 
things about any thing or person, or show 
bitterness, that also is acerbity. 

L. acerbus sour to the taste, from acer sharp, 

acervate (as'er vat), adj. Heaped up ; 
growing in heaps or clusters. (F. ramasse, 

Acephalous. Animals 

with practically no head, 

like the oyster, are so 


Some small fungi are acervate, growing in 
dense clusters on the bark and leaves of 
trees. The long-continued heaping up or 
acervation (as er va' shun, n.) of wind- 
blown sand on our shores results in sand- 

L. acervare to heap up, from acervits heap. 




acescent (a ses' ent), adj. Becoming 
sour ; rather sour. (F. acescent.) 

Milk, when " turning " as we call it, is 
acescent, or in a state of acescence (a ses' 
ens, n.). 

L. acescens (accusative -entem), pres. p. of 
acescere to turn sour, inceptive of acere. 

acetabulum (as e tab' u lum), n. A cup 
used for vinegar ; a term applied to certain 
cup-shaped cavities and organs in animals 
and plants. (F. acetabule.) 

The ancient Roman vessel for holding 
vinegar called acetabulum (pi. acetabula) was 
used as a liquid measure and held about 
one-eighth of a pint. The name has been 
given to the cavity in a bone which serves 
as the socket for another bone to move in. 
The socket of the thigh -joint in the human 
skeleton is a good example of an acetabulum. 
So is a sucker of the cuttle-fish. 

L. acetum vinegar, -abulum dim. of -abrum, 
suffix denoting holder of. See candelabrum. 

acetarious (as e tar' i us), adj. Used in 

Lettuce, cress, and other leaves arid plants 
which can be dressed with vinegar and eaten 
raw are acetarious. 

L. acetarius adj. pertaining to vinegar, from 
acetum vinegar. 

acetone (as' e ton), n. A clear and colour- 
less chemical liquid related to acetic acid. 
(F. acetone.) 

Acetone is made by distillation from vege- 
table substances. It was used by the late 
Sir Frederick Abel and Sir James Devvar 
when they were inventing cordite to dissolve 
at one and the same time nitro-glycerine and 

During the World War enormous quanti- 
ties of acetone were made from giant sea- 
weeds found on the Pacific coast of America. 
Chloroform, spirone, yellow dyes, and violet 
perfumes are made with acetone, which, 
when pure, has an agreeable smell and a 
peppermint taste. Its chemical symbol is 
CO(CHz)3, and its chemical name dimethyl 

L. acetum vinegar, and suffix -one (Gr. one). 

acetyl (as' e til), n. A family of atoms 
that takes part in the making of acetic acid. 
(F. acetyle.) 

The formula of acetyl is CaHsO, which 
means that there are three atoms of hydro- 
gen, two atoms of carbon, and one atom of 
oxygen, all acting together very much like a 
single atom. 

L. acetum vinegar, -yl (Gr. hyle substance). 

acetylene (a set' i len), n. A gaseous 
hydro-carbon having the chemical symbol 
CsHz. (F. acetylene.) 

Acetylene can be formed by the direct 
combination of its elements, carbon and 
hydrogen, but in practice it is made by adding 
water to calcium carbide. Burnt in suitable 
burners it gives a brilliant white flame. It is 

also called ethine. Though long known to 
science it was of no practical importance 
until an accidental discovery in 1892 led to 
the production of cheap calcium carbide. 

It is now largely used in motor-cycle lamps, 
for lighting country houses, welding and 
cutting metals, dry cleaning and preparing 
industrial alcohol, acetic acid and other 
substances. It is a dangerous explosive when 
mixed with air. Acetylithe (a set i' lith, n.) 
is the trade name given to a preparation of 
calcium carbide with petrol and glucose, 
designed to give better control over the pro- 
duction of acetylene. 

L. acetum vinegar, -yl (Gr. Jiyle substance), 
-ene (indicating hydro-carbons). 

Acetylene. Cutting steel with the aid of an 
oxy-acetylene torch. 

Achates (a ka' tez), ;?. A loyal and 
trusted friend. (F. Achate.) 

In the " Aeneid " the Roman poet Virgil 
relates how Achates was the chosen friend 
and constant companion of Aeneas in his 
adventures. He always calls him fidus 
Achates (faithful Achates), and so perfect was 
his loyalty thatfidus Achates has come to be 
the regular phrase for a trusted friend. 

ache (ak), v.i. To be in pain. n. A pain. 
(F. avoir mal a ; mat, douleur.) 

An ache is a dull, lasting pain, not a sharp, 
sudden one. It is quite a different sort of 
pain from the sharp, stabbing sensation when 
one is pricked. A tooth aches when it is de- 
cayed, but the pain caused when the dentist 
pulls it out is not an ache. The word is also 
used for distress of mind or grief. 

A.-S. acan to ache, v. ; aece, ece, n. SYN. : 
Agony, anguish, pain, suffering. ANT. : Delight, 
ease, pleasure, relief. 

achene (a ken'), n. A small dry, one- 
seeded fruit, which does not open when ripe. 
Also called achaenium (a ken' i um). (F 

Strictly speaking the name achene applies 
to such single small dry carpels or seed- 
vessels as those of the buttercup, avens, and 




Achievement. The magnificent cathedral at Liverpool and Sir Giles Gilbert Scott, its arcnuecc. VVnen 
completed the cathedral will be the largest in Great Britain, and an outstanding architectural achievement. 

borage, and the four so-called naked seeds of 
the dead-nettle and other lipped flowers. 
It is also sometimes given to other small dry 
fruits, such as those formed from two carpels 
in the dandelion and some other members of 
the Composite family. A double achene, 
such as is found in members of the parsley 
family, is called an achenodium (a ke no' di 
um, n.). The achenial (a ken' i al, adj.) plumes 
of the wild clematis help to disperse the seeds. 
Gr. akhanes, from a- not, khainein to gape, 

Acheron (ak' e ron), n. A fabled stream 
of the lower world ; the infernal regions. 
(F. Acheron.} 

In the old Greek stories Acheron offended 
the chief of the gods, Zeus, who turned him 
into a river of Hades, over which the souls of 
the dead were ferried. And so the name 
Acheron came to be used for the lower world 
generally. Several rivers in ancient geography 
were named Acheron. 

Besides meaning relating to the river 
Acheron, the word Acherontic (ak e ron' tik, 
adj.) is sometimes used in the sense of gloomy 
or hovering on the brink of the grave. 

According to popular ancient etymology, 
Acheron was " the river of woe " (Gr. akhos) 
although it is probably from the same root as 
L. aqua water. 

Acheulian (a shoo' li an), adj. Belonging 
to a division of what is called the Lower 
Palaeolithic Age or Old Stone Age in Europe. 
(F. Acheuleen.) 

The word is derived from a place in France 
called St. Acheul, near Amiens, where flint 

axes of a special type were discovered with 
other remains that showed clearly the stage 
of progress reached by the men who made 
them. Such traces of early man are said to 
be Acheulian or to belong to the Acheulian 
Age. The Acheulian Age is placed between 
the Chellean and the Mousterian Ages. 

achieve (a chev'), v.t. To accomplish ; to 
attain. (F. accomplir, attelndre.) 

This word is used in the sense of carrying 
out some enterprise or gaining some end by 
exerting great skill, courage, or endurance. 
A thing that can be so accomplished is said 
to be achievable (a chev' abl, adj.), the doer 
is the achiever (a chev' er, n.), and the deed 
itself and the doing of it is an achievement 
(a chev' ment, n.). 

The word achievement is also used in 
heraldry for the complete representation of a 
coat of arms. (F. armo'iries.) 

F. achever, from a chef (venir), L.L. ad caput 
venire to come to a head, accomplish. SVN. : 
Acquire, complete, finish, perform, realize. 
ANT. : Lose, mar, neglect, omit. 

Achillean (ak i le' an), adj. Like or re- 
lating to Achilles ; not able to be wounded ; 
unconquerable. (F. Achilleen.) 

Achilles was one of the greatest heroes of 
the old Greek legends, and many of his 
wonderful deeds are told by Homer in the 
" Iliad." He was king of the Myrmidons, a 
tribe of Thessaly, at whose head he assisted 
the Greeks in their war against the Trojans 
and slew the Trojan hero Hector, whose body 
he dragged three times round the walls of 




. The legen- 
dary Greek hero. 

Being of immortal origin herself, his mother 
Thetis wished to make him immortal too, 
so when he was a child she took him to the 
River Styx and, grasping him by the heel, 
plunged him into its mystic waters. This 
made every part of his body secure from 
wounds except the part 
by which she held him, 
and it was there that the 
arrow which caused his 
death struck him shot 
by the bow of Paris, the 
second son of Priam, the 
king of Troy 

From this story comes 
the expression " heel of 
Achilles " denoting any 
weak spot, any spot 
specially open to attack, 
as well as the name 
tendon of Achilles (a kil' 
ez) for the tendon con- 
necting the muscles of the 
calf to the bone of the 

The common English 
flower known as yarrow or milfoil is called 
Achillea (a kil e' a, n.) because Achilles 
healed his wounded men with it at the siege 
of Troy. 

achilous (a ki' lus), adj. Without rf lip. 
(F. sans levres.) 

One of the three petals of orchids is called 
the lip or labellum. In some species this lip 
is lacking, and the flower is, therefore, said 
to be achilous, or acheilary (a ki' la ri, adj.). 

Gr. a- not, without, kheilos lip. 

achlamydeous (ak la mid' e us), adj. 
Lacking both corolla and calyx. (F. ach- 

The flowers of the willow and the birch 
are achlamydeous. In them, as in a number 
of others, there are no petals or sepals, but 
only pistil and stamens. 

Gr. a- not, without, khlamys (gen. -ydos) cloak, 

achromatic (ak ro mat' ik), adj. Not 
splitting light into colours. (F. achroma- 

Take a strong cheap lens, and examine a 
small object with it. Usually there is a small 
fringe of " rainbow " colour round the edges 
of the object. This is due to the breaking up 
of the white light into the colours that com- 
pose it, and a great defect when the lens is 
used for a microscope, telescope, or camera. 
The best lenses, therefore, are made to 
magnify without this fringe, and are said to be 
achromatic. So is anything which will pass 
a beam of light without splitting it up. When 
a lens has this property it is said to act 
achromatically (ak ro mat ik al li, adv.). The 
state of being achromatic is achromatism 
(a kro' ma tizm, n.) or achromaticity (a kro 
ma tis'i ti, .). 

Gr. akhromatos, from a- not, without, khroma 

acicular (a sik' u lar), adj. Needle- 
shaped. (F. aciculaire.) 

A slender needle-like body, such as the 
sharp spines and bristles of plants and 
animals, is called an acicula (a sik' u la, n.). 
The leaves of the gorse and the pine are 
acicular, the plants 
themselves being acicu- 
late (a sik' u lat, adj.). 
Crystals belonging to the 
same mineral species 
frequently present a wide 
difference in form or 
habit. They may be 
pyramid - shaped, hair- 
like or capillary, or 
needle-shaped. Crystals 
of the last named form 
are called acicular. One 
of the compounds of 
bismuth is known as 
needle ore. A surface 
marked with fine, needle- 
like scratches is said to 
be aciculate. 

T , ,. ,. Acicular. The acicu- 

L. actcula small needle, l r leaves of the gorse. 
dim. of acus. 

acid (as' id), adj. Sour. n. A compound 
which contains always hydrogen and usually 
oxygen, is sour or tart to the taste, neutral- 
izes alkalies, changes vegetable blues and 
purples to red, and combines with other 
substances to form salts. (F. acide.) 

There are mineral and vegetable acids. 
Spirits of salts (hydrochloric acid) is mineral, 
vinegar is vegetable. A substance that is 
strongly sour or tart is acid ; one moderately 
so is sub-acid ; one slightly so is acidulous 
(a sid' u lus, adj.) or acidulated (a sid' u 
lat ed, part. adj.). Such a substance possesses 
acidity (a sid' i ti, n.) or acidness (as' id 
nes, n.). When we make something strongly 
sharp or sour to the taste we acidify (a sid' 
i f I, v.t.) it, if slightly sharp we acidulate ( a sid' 
\\ lat, v.t.) it, as in an acid drop. A person em- 
bittered in temper is acidulated or has an 
acid temper. 

Substances that can be made acid are 
acidifiable (a sid' i fl abl, part, adj.), and the 
process of making them so is acidification 
(a sid i fi ka' shun, n.). The art bf deter- 
mining the strength of acids is acidimetry 
(as i dim' et ri, n.), and the chief instrument 
used in this is an acidimeter (asidim'eter, n.). 

The term " the acid test " was first used 
in a popular sense by Woodrow Wilson, 
President of the United States, in an im- 
portant speech during the World War. 

L. acidus, from acere to be sour, from acer. 

acierage (as' i er aj), n. The process of 
electro-plating a metal with steel ; steeling. 
(F. acierage.) 

A copper copy made from an original 
engraving plate is, in many cases, given a 
very thin coat of steely iron by this 
process to reduce wear in printing. 

L.L. aciarium (ferrum) hard and sharp (iron), 
steel. Suffix -age is from L. -aticum. 




acieral (as' i cr al), n. A light, tough 
alloy consisting chiefly of aluminium. A 
great many of the " tin hats " that the 
soldiers wore in the World War (1914-18) 
were made of acieral. (F. fer aciereux.) 

L.L. aciarium (ferrum) hard and sharp (iron), 
steel, from L. acies edge, sharpness. 

acinus (as' in us), n. A drupel or fruit 
formed round a number of strong seeds ; 
the stone or seed of a drupel, or of a berry ; 
the small subdivision of a racemose gland. 
(F. acine.) 

The name acinus was first given to a cluster 
of grapes or berries, but now means the small, 
fleshy drupels of such compound fruits as the 
blackberry and the raspberry. The acini 
(as' i nl, of such glands as those which 
secrete the saliva are the tiny sacs clustered 
round the blind ends of the ducts or cells, 
and such glands are said to be acinous (as' in 
us, adj.), acinose (as' in 6s, adj.), or racemose. 
Aciniform (as in' i form, adj.) means c.ustered 

L. acinus a berry or its stone. 

Acinus. The acinus ot the blackberry, a fruit which 
is formed round a number of strong seeds. 

acknowledge (ak nol' ej), v.t. To admit ; 
to confess. (F. reconnaitre, avouer.) 

We acknowledge the truth of a statement, 
the receipt o money or goods, a gift or a 
service. When we raise our hats as the King 
passes by we acknowledge him. We also 
acknowledge our mistakes and confess or 
acknowledge our sins. The act of acknow- 
ledging is acknowledgment (ak nol' ej ment, 

E a- = on, M.E. knowlechen, Modern E. 
knowledge. SYN. : Avow, concede, profess, recog- 
nize. ANT. : Deny, disavow, ignore, repudiate. 

aclinic (a klin' ik), adj. Having no dip, 
or inclination downwards. (F, acliniqus, 
sans inclination.) 

The earth behaves as an enormous magnet, 
and causes magnetic needles, freely sus- 
pended, to point in a certain direction. If 
such a needle is so suspended as to swing on its 
pivot vertically, pointing upwards or down- 
wards, in most parts of the earth it will do so, 
making an angle with the earth's surface. 
This angle is called the angle of dip, which in 
England is about 67 with the horizontal. 

At the earth's two magnetic poles the 
dipping needle stands vertical, making an 
angle of 90 with the horizontal ; but midway 
between these poles there are places where 
the needle does not dip at all, but balances 
horizontally. A line joining all such places 
is called the aclinic line or magnetic equator. 
It is an irregular line running round the earth 
near the geographic equator. 

Gr. ahlines, from a- not, klinein to bend, dip. 

acme (ak' me", n. The highest point. 
(F. comble, sommet.) 

People with things to sell like to call them 
the acme of perfection, that is, the most 
perfect things of their kind. The ripest time 
of life is the acme of life, and the climax 01 
turning-point of an illness may be referred 
to as its acme. 

Gr. akme top, highest point. SYN. : Apex, 
summit, zenith. ANT. : Base, depth, nadir. 

acne (ak' ne), n. A medical name for 
pimples or blackheads. (F. acne.) 

The word is possibly a corruption of Gr. 
akme point. 

acock (a kok'), adv. Defiantly ; cocked 
up. (F. retrousse.) 

A hat or cap worn jauntily on the head is 
said to be acock. Admiral Beatty generally 
wore his in this fashion. 

E. a- =on, in, and cock, perhaps in refer- 
ence to the attitude of a cock when crowing. 

acolyte (ak' 6 lit), n. A member of the 
fourth minor order in the Roman Catholic 
Church ; an attendant ; a novice. (F. 

Originally the acolyte was a young man 
under thirty who was a bishop's personal 
assistant, and was trusted to carry his letters. 
In the Middle Ages his duties were extended 
to include the care of the altar lights and 
the sacramental wine. These duties are now 
usually performed by laymen. The word is 
also used for a menial assistant and for 
anyone or anything that attends upon 
another in a minor position. 

Gr. akolouthos follower, L.L. acolythus, from 
Gr. akolouthein to follow, attend. 

aconite (ak' 6 nit), n. The name of a 
group of poisonous plants belonging to the 
Buttercup or Ranunculus family. (F. aconit.) 

The best known species is the monk's-hood. 
This was formerly called wolf's-bane because 
it was used for poisoning the bait in wolf- 
traps. From an even more poisonous species. 




Aconitum ferox, is obtained the deadly bikh 
of India, used for poisoning arrows and other 
weapons. The Greeks used aconite for a 
similar purpose. 

According to the old myth, the aconite 
sprang from the poisonous foam which 
dripped from 1he jaws of the dog Cerberus 
when Hercules went down into Hades and 

Acoustic. The sounding-board and microphone at 

Lloyd's, where marine insurance is effected, which 

help to overcome acoustic defects. 

dragged the three-headed monster up into 
the light of day. 

The drug aconite prepared from the plant 
is given by doctors in very small doses, 
especially in cases where the action of the 
heart needs to be slowed down. Anything 
relating to aconite is aconitic (ak 6 nit' ik, 
adj.}. From aconite is obtained aconitine 
(a kon' i tin, n.), a very deadly poison. 

Gr. akoniton, L. aconitum. There is no satis- 
factory etymology. 

acorn (a/ korn), n. The fruit of the oak 
tree. (F. gland.} 

The acorn, which is a nut set into a woody 
cup, is sometimes used in tanning. No wise 
child will ever be tempted to eat it. An oak 
tree furnished with acorns is said in heraldry 
to be acorned (a/ kornd, adj.}. 

A.-S. aecern, from aecer field (field produce) . 
Erroneously supposed to = oak, corn (oak- 

acorn-barnacle (a kprn bar' nakl), n. 
A marine crustacean, or sea-animal, with an 
outer shell covering. (F. balane.) 

Acorn-barnacles, also known as acorn- 
shells (a' korn shelz,, spend their lives 
fastened to rocks and the bottoms of boats, 
and sometimes even to the larger sea animals. 
The scientific name is Balanus, from the 
Gr. balanos acorn. 

acotyledon (a kot i le' don), n. A plant 
without cotyledons. (F. acotyledone.} 

Cotyledons are seed lobes or primary seed 
leaves, and plants without cotyledons are 
acotyledonous (a kot i le' don us, adj.}. 

Gr. a- not, without, kotyledon cup. 

acoustic (a kou' stik ; a koo' stik), adj. 
Relating to hearing, n. A remedy or appli- 
ance for deafness. (F. acoustique.) 

Next to the eye, the ear is the most wonder- 
ful instrument of the five senses. The waves 
of sound reach the diaphragm, which is a kind 
of small drum placed near the skull at the 
back of the ear, and from this a nerve 
conveys to the brain the sensation we call 
sound, which informs us of the vibrations 
which arise in the outer world. All human 
beings have varying powers of hearing as well 
as of seeing, and, as some people are colour- 
blind, so there are people who can only hear 
certain definite sounds. 

The word acoustics (.), though plural in 
form, is usually treated as singular. It means 
not only the science of sound, but is also used 
for the qualities that a building has with 
regard to sounds being heard well or badly 
in it. Anything to do with acoustics is 
acoustical (a kou' stik al; a koo' stik al, adj.) 
or acoustic, and one who is skilled in acoustics 
is an acoustician (ak ous tish' an, ak oos 
tish' an, n.). 

A building may possess bad or defective 
acoustics, and then all sorts of things are 
done in order to make the sounds of the 
orchestra or the speaker sound well in it, 
or to prevent echoes from being heard 
almost at the same time as the original 
sound. Hence we sometimes see many wires 
stretched across a building from gallery to 
gallery, or the sound is kept down and 
subdued by means of huge canvas curtains. 
In some churches a board is placed above 
the pulpit to throw forward the sound of the 
preacher's voice and prevent it from going 
aloft to be lost amid the rafters. 

Gr. akoustikos, connected with hearing, from 
akouein to hear. 



Acoustics. A dance band playing in the London studio of the British Broadcasting Corporation, where the 
acoustic arrangements are, as nearly as possible, perfect. 

acquaint (a kwant'), v.t. To inform ; to 
tell ; to make familiar. (F. faire savoir a.) 

A man may acquaint a neighbour with the 
fact that his chimney is on fire. When one 
person becomes known to another he makes 
his acquaintance (a kwant' ans, n.), the state 
of knowing each other being acquaintance- 
ship (a kwant' ans ship, .). 

O.F. accointer, from L.L. accognitare, from 
ac- =ad to, cognitus (p.p. of cognoscere) known. 
SYN. : Apprise, enlighten, inform, instruct. 
ANT. : Deceive, hoodwink, misinform. 

acquiesce (ak kwi es'), v.i. To submit ; 
to agree. (F. se resigner a, acquiescer a.) 

When a dispute is placed in the hands of an 
umpire and the parties concerned accept his 
ruling they acquiesce in his decision. They 
are acquiescent (ak kwi es' ent, adj.), and in 
agreeing to accept his judgment show their 
acquiescence (ak kwi es' ens, n.). 

L. acquiescere to take a thing quietly, from 
ac- =ad to, quiescere to rest. SYN. : Assent, com- 
ply, concur, consent. ANT. : Demur, disagree, 
dissent, object. 

acquire (a kwir'), v.t. To get for one's 
own ; to gain ; to learn. (F. acquerir.) 

A man acquires wealth by hard work or 
good fortune, a title in reward for good and 
noble deeds, a language by speaking it. A 
bird cannot rightly be said to acquire 
feathers, as they come to it naturally. 

A thing or quality that may be gained is 
acquirable (a kwir' abl, adj.), and when 
gained it is said to have been acquired (a 
kwird', p.p.), such as with some people a 
taste for asparagus. Acquirement (a kwir' 
ment, n.) is the act of acquiring, or some 

quality of body or mind which has had to be 
worked for. Skill in playing the piano by a 
person having no natural gift for music is an 
acquirement. Helen Keller, an American, 
though deaf, dumb, and blind from infancy, 
taught herself to read, write, and speak. She 
wrote several books, spoke in public, and 
became known the world over for her 

Acquisition (ak kwi zish'un, n.) is the act 
of acquiring, or a thing gained. A good 
schoolmaster is an acquisition to a village. 
A jackdaw is an acquisitive (a kwiz' i tiv, 
adj.) bird, because it picks up or acquires all 
sorts of odds and ends that attract it. The 
desire to become possessed of anything is 
acquisitiveness (a kwiz' it iv nes, n.). 

L. acquirere, from ac- =ad to, quaerere to seek. 
SYN. : Attain, master, obtain, win. ANT. : 
Forgo, forfeit, lose, surrender. 

acquit (a kwit'), v.t. To declare not guilty ; 
to set free from ; to pay. (F. acquitter.) 

A judge acquits a prisoner brought up for 
trial if he is found not to have done that with 
which he is charged. A man who has per- 
formed a brave deed is said to have acquitted 
himself bravely. Release from a duty or a 
charge brought against one in a court of law 
or the payment of a debt is an acquittal 
(a kwit' al, n.). 

The setting free of a person from a debt 
or duty or a receipt for the full payment of a 
debt is an acquittance (a kwit' ans, n.). 

O.F. acquiter, from L.L. acquietare, from, ac- = 
ad, quietus at rest, discharged (quies, gen. 
quiet-is, rest). SYN. : Absolve, discharge, par- 
don, release. ANT. : Charge, compel, condemn, 




acre (a/ ker), n. A British and American 
measure of land. (F. acre.) 

An acre contains 4,840 square yards, and 
640 acres equal a square mile. An owner of 
much land is sometimes called " a man of 
many acres " or " a man of broad acres." 
Long Acre, where John Dryden and Oliver 
Cromwell once lived, is a well-known street 
in London. It is part of " the meadow- 
ground known as ' The Long Acre ' " which 
was given by Edward VI to the Earl of 
Bedford. A burial-ground is referred to as 
God's acre. 

We speak of the acreage (a/ ker aj, n.) of 
a farm when we mean the number of acres of 
which its area consists. By the cultivable 
acreage of our country we mean the 
area (in acres) that may be cultivated or 

A.-S. aecer field : compare Gr. agros, L. ager, 
G. Acker. The suffix -age (collective) has reached 
English through F., where it represents L.L. 
-aticum, -agium. 

acrid (ak' rid), adj. Bitter to the taste ; 
irritating ; corrosive ; stinging. (F. acre.) 

Anything is acrid which is sour and harsh, 
such as unripe fruit ; an acrid poison irritates 
or eats away that with which it comes in con- 
tact. Many persons are of an acrid, or irri- 
tating, temper, while speakers are often acrid 
(caustic or cutting) in their remarks. Any- 
thing which is acrid possesses acridness (ak' 
rid nes, n.) or acridity (a krid' i ti, n.). 

L. acer (early acris) sharp ; but imitating 
acid. SYN. : Bitter, corrosive, harsh, irritating, 
sour. ANT. : Luscious, mellow, pleasant, 
soothing, sweet. 

acrimony (ak' ri mo ni), n. Bitterness 
or severity of language, manner, or temper. 
(F. acrimonie.) 

A worker who has been waiting for pro- 
motion and is disappointed, may refer with 
acrimony to the reasons why a fellow-worker 
was given the position which he himself so 
earnestly desired. In acrimonious (ak ri 
mo' ni us, adj.) language he tells us all about 
it, and his conceit may be acrimoniously 
(ak ri m5' ni us li, adv.), or bitterly, attacked 
by one of us who does not agree with him. 

L. acrimonia, from acer (early acris) sharp, 
and suffix -monia (state or condition). SYN. : 
Animosity, hostility, sharpness, sourness. .-VNT. : 
Amiability, courtesy, mildness, pleasantness. 

acrobat (ak' ro bat), n. One who per- 
forms daring feats such as rope-dancing, high 
vaulting, tumbling, throwing somersaults. 
(F. acrobate.) 

Most variety theatre programmes to-day 
include a performance by an acrobat or 
acrobats. Among the ancient Greeks and 
Romans the performances of acrobats were 
very popular. An acrobatic (ak ro bat' ik, adj.) 
feat, or a performance by an acrobat, may 
be so daring as to attract world-wide atten- 
tion. Such was that of Charles Blondin, a 
famous French acrobat, who crossed Niagara 
Falls on a tight -rope in 1859. 

To do anything after the manner of an 
acrobat is to do it acrobatically (ak' ro bat' 
ik al li, adv.) . The performance or profession 
of an acrobat is known as acrobatism (ak' ro 
bat izm, .). 

Gr. akrobatos, walking on tiptoe, from akros 
(adj.) at or to the top, -batos going, from bainein 
to go. 

Acrobat. A performer crossing a tight rope on 
a bicycle. The pole is used for balancing purposes. 

acrogen (ak'ro jen), n. One of a group 
of plants in which growth occurs at the tips 
or ends only. (F. acrogene.) 

The acrogen bears no flowers, and instead 
of true seeds it produces tiny bodies called 
spores which are often invisible. Ferns and 
mosses are acrogenous (a kroj'en us, adj.) 

Gr. akros (adj.) on the top, gen- (esthai) to be 

acrolith (ak' ro lith), n. An early Greek 
statue having a wooden body, with head, 
arms, and feet of marble. (F. acrolithe.) 

The first statues were of carved wood and 
other easily worked materials. The flesh parts 
were painted white, and the clothing was 
usually gilded. Then, to give a more natural 
effect, marble was used for the head and 
limbs, and sometimes real cloth was draped 
round the wooden trunk. 

Later, when the famous chryselephantine, 
or ivory and gold statues were made by 
Phidias (died 432 B.C.) some sculptors found 
it much cheaper, and nearly as effective, to 
use stone jointed to wood, in the old way, 
especially for very large statues. Unfortu- 
nately, wood perishes in the course of time, 
and only fragments of acrolithic (ak ro 
lith' ik, adj.) statues have survived. 

Gr. akros at the extremities, lithos stone. 




acropolis (a krop' 6 lis), n. The high 
part, or citadel, of a Greek town, especially 
that of Athens. (F. acropole.) 

In olden times, a hill that stood apart on a 
plain was often chosen as the site of a town, 
and there are many such hills in Greece. 
First, it would be simply a fort, in which 
people who farmed on the plains around 
could take refuge when attacked. When the 
people increased in number and houses were 
built round the foot of the hill, the ruler had 
his palace at the top, surrounded by strong 

Greek history begins, for us, at the third 
stage, when these towns are well established, 
and the people have covered their hill-tops 
with temples and statues, because they felt 
it was the fittest place from which to worship 
their gods ; but they still thought and spoke 
of it as the acropolis, or " high town," and 
they were careful, too, to keep it fortified, 
in case of war. At Athens is the most famous 
of these acropoles (a krop' 6 lez,, con- 
taining, among other celebrated buildings, 
the Parthenon, or temple of the goddess 
Athene, the finest example of Greek archi- 

Although ravaged by time and invasion, 
stripped of its treasures by the Romans, and 
bombarded by Venetian artillery in 1687, 
during which a powder magazine exploded 
inside the Parthenon, the Acropolis of Athens 
remains a wonder and delight to travellers. 

The word is also used in a figurative sense. 

One writer speaks of the "Acropolis of man's 
body, the head." 

Gr. akros on the top or height, polis city. 

across (a kros'), adv. and prep. Crosswise ; 
from one side to the other ; opposite to. 
(F. en croix.) 

We use this word when describing any- 
thing which " makes a cross " with another 
object. Thus, when we go across the road, 
we move in a direction which " makes a 
cross " with the line of the road. After 
meeting anyone accidentally, we say we 
came across him. In travelling fromEngland 
to France we go across the English Channel. 

E. a- =on, and cross. 

acrostic (a kros' tik), n. A literary 
composition in which the first, last, or some 
central agreed letters, when read successively 
in the order of the lines, make a word or 
sentence. (F. acrostiche.) 

Some of the Psalms in the Bible are a 
sort of acrostic, and in A.D. 326 a 
poet called Publilius Porphyrius wrote an 
acrostical (a kros' tik al, adj.) poem in praise 
of the Emperor Constantine the Great. 

Acrostics were also fashionable in French 
literature from the time of Francis I to 
Louis XIV, and in the Elizabethan period in 
England they became so much the fashion 
that people began to despise them, and very 
soon afterwards they were excluded from 
serious literature. Nowadays the solving of 
puzzles acrostically (a kros' tik al li, adv.) 
arranged is a favourite pastime. 

Acropolis. The ruins of the famous acropolis at Athens. The large building almost in the centre of the 
citadel is the Parthenon, the finest example of Greek architecture. 




Here is an example of a double acrostic : 

1. A Spanish warrior brave and bold. 

2. An Italian river calm and cold. 

3. A Saxon chief in days of old. 

The answer is : 

1. C i D. 

2. A rn O. 

3. TostiG. 

Gr. akros at the extremities, stichos line, row. 

acroterium (ak ro ter' i urn), n. A 
pedestal on a pediment. Akroterion (ak 
ro ter' i on) is another spelling. (F. acrotere.) 

The triangular or circular ornament 
crowning the front of a building, often over 
the portico, is called a pediment, and the 
pedestal at the top on which a figure of some 
sort stands is an acroterium- or acroterion. ^ 
When there are several slender turrets or 
spires they were once called acroteria (ak ro 
ter' i a, Anything having this slender 
spire-like shape is described as acroterial 
(ak ro te' ri al, adj.). 

Gr. akroterion, L. acroteria (, the top end. 

act (akt), v.i. To exert force ; to do any- 
thing ; to behave, v.t. To perform n. A 
thing done. (F. agir ; jouer ; - acte.) 

When we behave ourselves in a certain 
manner, we are said to act in that manner. 
When we pretend to have certain feelings 
or ideas or emotions, we act as though we 
felt in that way. When we take a certain part 
in a play, we act in that play. 

Acting. Children acting in a performance of 
"Alice in Wonderland." 

Anything we do is an act of ours. A law 
made by Parliament is called an Act of 
Parliament. That part of a play divided 
into scenes or performed straight on without 
a fall of the curtain is called an act. 

The profession of an actor or actress 
is acting (akt' ing n.) . A corporal in the army 
who is carrying, out the duties of a sergeant 
is acting (part, adj.) as sergeant. Anything 
which happens through the forces of nature 
and which cannot be prevented by any 
human means is called an Act of God. A 
pardon granted by a ruling sovereign is 
termed an Act of Grace. 

When we take advice that is given us we 
are said to act upon that advice. When we 

behave iri accordance with some standard of 
right we are said to act up to that standard . 
L. agere (p.p. actus) to act, do. SYN. : n. Deed, 
exploit, performance, v. Mimic, perform, person- 
ate. ANT. : n. Cessation, inaction, rest. v. Cease, 
endure, neglect, suffer. 

actinic (ak tki'. ik), adj. To do with 
certain rays of the sun, at and beyond the 
violet end of the spectrum, which act chemi- 
cally. (F. actiniquc.) 

The study of these rays and their effects is 
called actino-chemistry. The instrument 
which records the variations of chemical in- 
fluence in the rays of the sun is called an 
actinograph (ak tin' 6 graf, n.), and the 
instrument for finding the power of the 
sun's rays is called an actinometer (ak ti 
iiom' e ter, n.). The chemical force of the 
sun's rays, as distinct from light and heat, is 
called actinism (ak' tin izm, n.). 

Gr. aktis (gen. ahtlnos) ray. 

actinozoa (ak tin 6 zo' a), The 
group of animals which includes the sea- 
anemones and corals. 

These animals consist of a central cylinder 
with mouth at the top around which are a 
number of hollow tentacles used for grasping 
food and dragging it into their mouths. 
Anemones are simple, that is, each forms 
a single animal, and they have no skeleton ; 
the corals are compound, many polypes 
uniting and sharing a common skeleton. 
Of these skeletons coral islands are built. 

Gr. aktis (gen. aktinos) ray, zoa animals. 

action (ak' shim), n. The state or con- 
dition of acting or doing ; anything done or 
performed. (F. action.) 

We say that a soldier goes into action when 
he takes part in the fighting. The movement 
of events in a play or a novel is called the 
action. The trained motion of a horse or 
dog is called its action. Any intentional 
bodily movement, as of a racer, is action. 

Every sport in which we indulge has its 
peculiar action, and we classify our games as 
strenuous and non-strenuous according to the 
amount of energy necessary to perform these 
actions. Thus Rugby football and cricket we 
class as strenuous sports, for they involve 
great energetic action, while bowls and 
croquet are not so strenuous as less energetic 
action is called for. The effect of one physical 
body on another is called its action upon it. 
The action of a piano or other piece of 
me-Jianism is its movement or its working 

A law-suit is called a legal action, and 
Shakespeare, in his play " King Lear " 
(II, ii), uses the compound word action- 
taking (adj.) to describe a person who resents 
an injury by immediately starting a law- 
suit instead of fighting the matter out like 
a man of honour (Oswald, steward to one 
of King Lear's daughters, speaks of the Earl 
of Kent as " a rascal .... a lily-livered, 
action-taking knave "). 



Action. (1) 
tense summo 

Expressed in the flight of the gull, (2) in the arrow-like launch of the diver, (3 and 4) in the 
ining of every ounce of spring in horse and man, (5 and 6) in tennis and football, and 
(7) in th.e united effort of rowers. 




Any act which supplies cause or ground for 
a legal action is called actionable (ak' shun 
abl, adj.] and anyone acting in a manner to 
cause this state of things is said to behave 
actionably (ak' shun ab li, adv.}. 

L. actio (ace. action-cm] from agere to act, do. 
SYN. : Agency, exercise, gesture, movement, 
proceedings. ANT. : Harmony, languor, peace, 
rest, truce. 

active (ak' tiv), adj. Energetic ; quick 
in movement; causing 
action. (F. actif.) 

A person who moves 
quickly and is nimble and 
agile is called active, and 
one whose mind can quickly 
grasp the details of any 
subject is called active- 

In grammar, when the 
subject of a verb is the 
person or thing that does 
what the verb expresses, as 
"The sun shines," "Do 
you suffer?", "He never 
spoke a word," then the 
verb is said to be active, 
or in the active voice ; but 
it is in the passive voice 
when the subject is that to 
which something is done, as 
"Mice are eaten by cats," 
" He was forgotten." 

Anyone who takes a prac- 
tical share in a matter is said 
to behave actively (ak' tiv li, 
adv.), and where there are 
two partners in a business 
and one transacts the busi- 
ness while the other only 
supplies some of the neces- 
sary money, the former is 
called the active partner and 
the other the passive (or 
sleeping) partner. The pro- 
cess of exerting energy is called activity 
(ak tiv' i ti, n.). 

L. aclivus inclined towards acting, from agere 
(p.p. ac^-us) to act, do. SYN/: Agile, energetic, 
industrious, nimble, quick. ANT. : Dull, indolent, 
lazy, passive, slow, stupid. 

actor (ak' tor), n. One who performs 
or plays a part. (F. acteiir.) The feminine is 
actress (ak' tres, n.) 

In ancient Greece the actors wore large 
masks, which of course prevented them 
from making any attempt at facial expression. 
When the drama made its way to Rome the 
masks were given up, and the players painted 
their faces and wore wigs. In England acting 
was first associated with the work of the 
Church, and it is on record that early in the 
twelfth century the scholars of a monastery 
school acted a play at Dunstable, in Bed- 

Actors, or mummers as they were then 
called, travelled from place to place 

performing plays in which scriptural events, 
the legends of the saints, and moral truths 
were introduced. Historical scenes were not 
presented until 1548, and the sixteenth cen- 
tury also witnessed the beginning of English 
comedy. In Shakespeare's time actors per- 
formed in the afternoon, no scenery was used, 
and as the circular buildings were only partly 
roofed there were occasions when both actors 
and audience were exceedingly uncomfortable. 

Actress. One ot the early appearances 01 an actress on trie tngnsh 

stage was in Shakespeare's "Othello," produced in December 1660. 

Previously women's parts had been taken by boys or men. 

No artificial light of any kind was used, and 
many of the audience had to stand. 

Until 1656, all acting, even of female 
characters, was done by men and boys. In 
that year Mrs. Colman took part in the play 
" The Siege of Rhodes," and she was the first 
English public actress. 

L. actor doer, from agere (p.p. act-us), -or 
expressing the agent. 

actual (ak' tu al), adj. Existing in 
reality ; present. (F. effectif, actuel.) 

When a person puts all his energies into j 
something he wishes to achieve, and after ' 
many years accomplishes his desire, we say 
of him : "At last he has made the dream of 
years an actuality (ak tu al' i ti, n.)." That 
person has been able to actualize (ak' tu 
al ize, v.t.) or make real that which hitherto 
had only been imaginary. He has brought 
about the actualization (ak tu al I za' 
shun, n.) of his dreams and made them 
actually (ak' tu al li, adv.) true and concrete. 




L.L. actualis belonging to reality, from agere 
(p.p. act-us) to act, do. SYN. : Certain, demon- 
strable, perceptible, real, true. ANT. : Conject- 
ural, fictitious, possible, virtual. 

actuary fak' tu a ri), n. A person specially 
skilled in the knowledge of matters connected 
with insurance work. (F. greffier.) 

In a very general sense, an actuary is a 
clerk, but especially an actuary is one who 
has passed the necessary examinations of 
the Institute of Actuaries, that is, he has 
proved by examination that he under -tands 
the special statistical and other work con- 
nected with the. business of insurance. His 
work is called actuarial (ak t,u ar' i al, adj.) 

L. actuarius clerk, from agere (p.p. act-us) 
to act, do, suffix -ary engaged in (book-kee, ing). 

actuate (ak'^ v.t. -To -move to 
action ; to influence. (F. mettre en t ctioii, 

When a person performs an action, there 
is always some driving force or motive which 
has caused that action, and we say that he 
or she was actuated by this particular 
driving power. One may be actuated by 
fear, by kindness, or by .any other emotion. 
The state which directly results is actuation 
(ak tu a' shun, n.)-. 

L.L. actuare (p.p. actuatus) to put into action. 
SYN. : Dispose, drive, induce, move, urge. ANT. : 
Deter, dissuade, hinder, prevent, restrain. 

acuity (a kfi' i ti), n. Sharpness or 
acuteness. We may speak of the acuity of a 
needle point, of wit, or of pain. (F. acuite.) 

L.L. acuilas, L. acuere to make sharp, from 
acus needle, suffix -ty expressing condition. 

aculeus (a kii' le us), n. In natural 
history this word means the sting of an insect 
or the prickle of a plant. (F. aiguillon.) 

Certain creatures, such as wasps and 
scorpions, are provided by nature with the 
power to sting as a means of defence, and 
certain plants, including roses and thistles, 
with prickles for the same reason. Creatures 
or plants so provided are aculeate (aku'leat, 
adj.) or aculeated (a ku ' le at ed, adj.) . 

L. aculeus sting, dim. of acus needle. 

acumen (a ku' men), n. Shrewdness of 
mind. (F. penetration, finesse.) 

Anyone with sharp wits is said to be 
possessed of acumen. In natural history, 
that part of some creatures and plants 
which tapers to a point i described as 
acuminate (a ku' min at, adj.). The act of 
making anything sharp is called acumination 
(a ku min a' shun, n.). In botany any detail 
of plant life which gradually tapers to a flat, 
narrow end, but is not quite sharp enough to 
be named acuminate, is termed acuminose 
(a ku' min oz, adj.). 

L. acumen, from acuere to sharpen, -men 
expressing state or condition. SYN. : Discern- 
ment, penetration, sagacity, sharpness. ANT. : 
Bluntness, dullness, obtuseness, stupidity. 

Aculeus. The prickles of (1) blackberry, (5) holly, 

(6) cactus. (2) Sting of bee. (4) A scorpion and 

(3) its sting. 




acute (a kut), adj. Sharp ; penetrating. 
(F. aigu.) 

In illness we talk of having acute pain, 
meaning very sharp and piercing pain. An 
acute illness is one which conies swiftly to a 
crisis, one which does not linger. 

Pain, pleasure, or any other sensation felt 
very keenly is felt acutely (a kut li, adv.). 
The state of being acute is acuteness (a kut' 
nes, n.). People who grasp things very 
quickly and who respond to impressions very 

Acute. The acute peak of the Aiguille du Dru, in Switzerland, 
which reaches a height of 12,320 feet. 

readily are acute. The word is often short- 
ened to cute when applied to persons who are 
very quick-witted and shrewd, especially in 

There is an accent ( ' ) applied to vowels, 
especially in French, which sometimes shows 
that the vowel so marked must be uttered 
sharply. This is called an acute accent. In 
geometry, an angle which is sharper (that is, 
smaller) than a right angle is called an acute 

L. acutus, p.p. of acuere to sharpen. SYN. : 
Keen, poignant, pointed, sagacious, shrewd. 
ANT. : Blunt, dull, obtuse, stolid. 

adage (ad' aj), n. A wise old saying. 
(F. adage.) 

There is very little difference in mean- 
ing, if any, between a proverb and an 
adage. An adage is always an old saying, 


always a short saying, and always a wise 
saying, and it always deals with matters 
that anybody might come across. It is 
its homely wisdom that has made it easily 
understood down the ages. Macbeth, long- 
ing to be king but shrinking from murdering 
Duncan, is taunted by his wife for 

Letting " I dare not " wait upon " I would," 

Like the poor cat i' th' adage. 
The adage here meant is : " The cat loves 
fish, but dares not wet her feet." 

L. adagium, from ad to, aio (formerly 

] agio), say. SYN. : Maxim, proverb, 
! saying. 

adagio (a da' ji 6), adv. In a 
leisurely manner. adj. Slow. n. 
A slow graceful movement. (F. 

In music it means that the play- 
ing should be slow and deliberate, 
with much taste and expression. 
In classical music, such as sonatas 
and symphonies, a slow movement 
called " the adagio " is generally 
written first, and is usually followed 
by a quick and lively movement, 
as a contrast. 

Ital. ad to, at, agio case, leisure. 
I F. aise. 

Adam (ad' ^m), n. The name of 
the first man. (F. Adam.) 

According to the Bible, Adam was 
the first man created. In scientific 
language the Adam's apple (n.) is 
the protuberance in front of the 
neck formed by the thyroid car- 
tilage of the larynx. It shows 
more plainly in men than in women. 
The name arose from a popular 
belief that this lump was caused by 
a piece of apple (the forbidden fruit) 
which Adam ate in the Garden of 
Eden sticking in 'his throat. 

The traditional " apple " in the 
story of the Fall was probably 
not the same fruit as that which 
we now know as the apple, and so 
the name Adam's apple has been 
given to various fruits, including the lime, 
the orange, and the grapefruit or shaddock. 
Adam is a Hebrew word, meaning either (i) 
man, or (2) (formed from) the earth. 

adamant (ad' a mant), n. A very hard 
stone, adj. Very hard ; unassailable ; im- 
movable. (F. diamant, aimant ; adamantin.) 

In ancient times this word was used for 
various very hard stones or metals, and so for 
anything very hard. When the diamond, 
the hardest mineral, became known in the 
West it was applied to that. In the Middle 
Ages it was used for the loadstone or magnet, 
an ore of iron which has the power of attract- 
ing other bodies. The word is used in this 
sense by Shakespeare in "A Midsummer 
Night's Dream " (ii, i), where Helena, who 
is in love with Demetrius, says to him : 
" You draw me, you hard-hearted adamant." 



Nowadays he word is used chiefly in 
poetry or poetical language for a person or 
thing that has the qualities of a very hard 
and unbreakable stone or metal. When a 
person, for instance, has a very strong will, 
so strong that he is hard and sometimes cruel, 
we say he has an adamantine (ad a man' tin, 
adj.) will. 

Gr. adamas, L. adamas (gen. adamant-is), from 
Gr. a- not, damaein to tame. 

adapt (a'), v.t. To make suitable. 
(F. adapter.} 

Everything that has life has to adapt itself 
to its surroundings, no matter how these 
may change, and this process is called 
adaptation (ad ap ta' shun, n.). A person who 
can suit himself to his company and surround- 
ings is adaptable (a' abl, adj.), and this 
gift of adaptability (a dapt a bil' iti, n.) is 
a most useful one. A person who changes a 

All religions have their own calendar, and 
in most cases the year is divided in two wayr, 
one, according to the revolution of the 
earth in its orbit, and the other according to 
the various festivals connected wit.h the 
particular religion. The latter is called the 
ecclesiastical year. 

Adar is the twelfth month of the Jewish 
ecclesiastical year and the sixth month of 
the civil year. It corresponds to our 
February and March. 

add (ad), v.t. To sum up ; to join ; 
to state further. (F. additioner, ajouter.) 

Things must be of a like nature to be 
added, and such things are described as 
being addible (ad' ibl, adj.). The item that 
is added may be said to have addibility (ad 
i bil' i ti, n.), and is sometimes called an 
additament (ad' dit a ment, n.). The act of 
adding is called addition (a dish' un, n.), 

Adaptable. A baby's bath which can be made into a cosy cot when bed-time comes. To adapt it is 

the work of a few seconds. 

thing in such a way as to fit it for a new 
purpose, for example, who alters a story 
from the form of a novel to that of a play, 
is an adapter (a dapt' er, n.), and the play 
that he founds on the story is an adaptation. 
In scientific apparatus certain connecting 
parts and certain fittings that increase the 
usefulness of the instruments are called 

Anything which has the power of or a 
tendency to adaptation is called adaptive 
(a dapt' iv, adj.) and behaves adaptively 
(a' iv li, adv.), and anything that has 
special suitableness for something possesses 
adaptedness (a dapt' ed nes, n.). 

L. adaptare, from ad to, aptare to fit (part. 
aptus fit). SYN. : Accommodate, adjust, fit, 
harmonize, reconcile. ANT. : Confuse, dis- 
arrange, misapply. 

Adar (a' dar), n. One of the months of 
the Jewish year. 

and often this word is applied to the thing 

We also use the phrase " in addition to," 
meaning as - well as, or over and above. 
We talk about an additional (a dish' un al, 
adj.) item when we mean something supple- 
mentary or in addition to all the rest, and 
such an item is provided additionally (a dish' 
un al li, adv.). 

L. ad to, -dere=dare to put. SYN. : Affix, 
annex, join, unite. ANT. : Deduct, diminish, 
remove, subtract. 

addax (ad' aks), n. A kind of antelope- 

This animal is found in northern Africa. 
It is a fleet-footed creature with long ringed 
and twisted horns and a tuft of hair on its 
forehead, and in winter it grows a mane. 
In colour it is like the sand of its desert home. 

Its scientific name is Addax nasomacmlatus 
"(spotted-nosed), from a white spot on tha 




Adder. The only poisonous British snake. It feeds chiefly upon mice, sometimes grows to a length of over 
two feet, and has a black zigzag line down its back. 

addendum (a den' dum), n. A thing 
added or to be added. (F. addenda?) 

When we use this word, we mean that 
what is added or has to be added is not 
absolutely an essential part ot the main 
thing. It adds something to it, of course, 
but even without it the thing itself would 
be complete. For example, something ex- 
planatory at the end of a volume may be 
an addendum, pi. addenda (a den' da), for, 
though it adds to the mass of information 
contained in the volume itself, that volume 
is really complete without it. 

L. addendum, neuter gerundive of adder e to 

adder (ad' er), . The common viper ; 
a name given to various other snakes. (F. 
viper e.) 

The adder is the only poisonous British 
snake. It is found in many parts of Europe 
and Asia. Its head is flat and triangular, and 
it has a dark zig-zag stripe running down its 
back. It is usually found in dry places, such 
as sandy heaths. The scientific name is 
Vipera berns. A puff adder is a thick- 
bodied and very poisonous African snake 
which puffs out its body when angry, and a 
death adder is a small and very poisonous 
Australian snake. 

A.-S. naedre serpent, G. natter. A nadder was 
afterwards changed into an adder (cp. an 
ewt=a newt, an apron=a napron.) 

adder 's-tongue (ad' erz tung), n. A 
small fern. 

This is a popular name for Ophioglossum 
vulgatum, a fern whose spores grow in a 
spike shaped something like a snake's mouth 
and tongue. 

addict (a dikt'), v.L To give (oneself) up' 
(to). (F. s'adonner a.) 

We generally use this word in a bad sense, 
meaning to give oneself up to a vice of some 
sort. For example, we say that a person is 
addicted to drink, that he ha-, become ai 
slave to the habit. 

The state of being addicted- to anything 
is called either addictedness (a dik' ted nes, 
n.) or addiction (a dik' shun, n.). 
uses the latter word, not in connexion with 
any bad habit, -but merely meaning "in- 
clination." In the play " Othello " (ii, 2), 
a herald announces : 

" It is Othello's pleasure that .... every 
man put himself into triumph ;. some to. dance, 
some to make bonfires, each man to what sport 
and revels his addiction leads him." 

L. addictus, p.p. from addicere, from ad to, 
dicere to say. 

addition (a dish' un), n. The act or result 
of adding. See add. 

addle (ad' 1), adj. Spoiled ; worthless. 
v.t. To make worthless, v.i. To become 
worthless. (F. couvi, pourri ; pourriv ; se 

This word is chiefly used of an egg that 
has become unfit to eat and of brains that 
have become confused. As a term of 
derision, we sometimes join the word addle 
to other words, as in addle-headed (adj.), 
addle-brained (adj.), addle-pated (adj.), mean- 
ing empty-headed, or having brains that are 
of no use. 

The word addled has crept into English 
history in connexion with the second parlia- 
ment of James I, which was known as the 




Addled Parliament because it met and was 
dissolved without having passed a single Bill. 
This happened in the year 1614, and its 
members declined to grant any supplies to 
the King until he redressed certain griev- 
ances. He refused to do this, and as neither 
side would give way, that particular session 
was addled or empty of all results. 

A.-S. adela mud, filth. 

address (a dres'), v. f . To direct ; to speak 
to; to apply (oneself to), n. A speech ; the 
direction of a letter ; skill. (F. adresser, 
s'adresser a ; discours, adresse.) 

When we put the necessary particulars on 
a letter or other document, which shall ensure 
that it shall reach the right person, we are 
said to address the document. We address 
a person when we speak to him. When a 
suitor pays his addresses to a lady, he 
courts her, or makes love to her. A man 
who has an easy manner in conversation is 
a man of good address. A brave man who 

Address. -A speaker addressing a ciowd. Hyde Park, London, 
is often used for such a purpose. 

has a difficult task to perform addresses him- 
self to it with high hopes. Some men get out 
of difficult positions with great address. 

A public speech is called an address. The 
Address is the reply which the House of Lords 
or Commons makes to the sovereign's speech 
when a new Parliament or session of Parlia- 
ment opens. The place where we live is called 
our address. The person who writes the 
address on a communication to be sent to 
another is called the addresser (a dres' er, .), 
and the person receiving the communication 
is the addressee (ad dres se', n.). 

Addressing the ball is a sport term 
meaning preparing to strike a ball. When a 
golfer is about to play a tee shot or any 
other stroke he always takes up a position 
close to the ball and makes careful pre- 
paration to hit it. This action is called 
addressing the ball. . The term is also used 
in lawn-tennis. 

. F. adresser, from a to, O.F. drescer to make 
straight, ultimately from L.L. direct(i)are, L. 
dirigere (p.p. directus). SYN. : v. Accost, ap- 
proach, greet, n. Ability, manners, super- 
scription. ANT. : v. Avoid, ignore, pas*. ~n. 
Clumsiness, rudeness, unmannerliness. 

addressograph (a dres' 6 graf), n. A 
machine for printing the same names and 
addresses or other matter over and over 

The names and addresses to be printed are 
on small plates, which are pressed one after 
the other against an inked ribbon, on the 
other side of which is the paper. After 
having done its work, the plate is pushed 
aside into a filing drawer, where all the plates 
are filed in their original order, ready for 
use again. As each plate comes into its 
printing position, a fresh envelope, or other 
thing to be stamped, comes under the ribbon. 
A person writing with a pen can do from 
75 to 150 addresses in an hour. In the same 
time an addressograph will print 
from 5,400 to 7,500. It is there- 
fore very useful to firms which 
make a business of addressing 
circulars and envelopes, and to 
other people who have to send 
out a large number of letters, 
etc., at intervals to the same 

E. address, and graph, from Gr. 
graphein to write. 

adduce (a dus'), v.t. To bring 
forward for consideration. (F. 
alleguer, avancer.) 

In nearly every question argu- 
ments may be adduced on both 
sides. Anything which may be 
brought forward in this way is 
called adducible (a dus' ibl, adj.) 
and the act of bringing it forward 
is adduct on (a duk' shim, .). 

This word is also used for the 
property some muscles have o: 
drawing one part of the body 
towards another or towards a middle line. 
Such muscles are called adducent ia dus' ent, 
adj.) muscles, or adducers (a dus' erz, > 
or adductors (aduk'torz, n. pi.}, and the powers 
they possess are adductive (a diik'tiv, adj.). 

L. adducere, from ad to, ducere to lead, bring. 
SYN. : Advance, allege, cite, produce. ANT. : 
Avoid, ignore, overlook, shun. 

adelphous (a del' fus), adj. Having the 
stamens grouped together. (F, adelphe.} 

The stamens of some flowers are joined 
together in bundles or in what we might, in 
accordance with the derivation of tha word, 
call brotherhoods. These are adelphom 
flowers. It is usual, though, when s peak in ; 
of adelphou; flowers to state how many of 
these brotherhoods there are. Thus we d ) 
not say simply that flowers are adelphou;, 
but that they are monadelphous if the 
stamens are grouped in a single brotherhood, 




diadelphous if they are in two brotherhoods, 

and so on. 

. Gr. adelphos brother. 

adenoid (ad' en oid), adj. Formed like a 
gland. (F. adeno'ide.) 

When we use the word adenoids we 
mean a soft, spongy tissue which grows be- 
tween 1he back of the nose and the throat 
and interferes with the 
breathing and sometimes 
the hearing, and with the 
development of the chest. 

A child suffering from 
adenoids breathes with 
open mouth, snores, and 
has swollen tonsils and 
frequent colds in the head. 
He often acquires a pecu- 
liar expression, sometimes 
mistaken for a sign of 
natural stupidity. 

Unless the growth of 
the tissue is stopped, as it 
sometimes can be, by plain 
wholesome diet and an 
open-air life, it is best to 
have it removed by surgical 
means. Otherwise it may 
affect the whole future of a 
child by making him list- 
less and dull. 

Gr. adenoeides like a gland, 
from aden gland, eidos, form, 

adept (ad' ept, n. ; a dept', adj.), n. 
An expert, adj. Completely skilled. (F. 

In its early stages chemistry was called 
alchemy, and those who studied it were 
known as alchemists. The chief aims of the 
alchemists were to change all other metals 
into gold and to discover the elixir of life, 
by means of which they hoped to lengthen 
human existence. Anyone who was sup- 
posed to have attained these great secrets 
was known as an adept. The word is now 
used to describe a person who is fully -skilled 
in any art, craft, or profession, not only in 

L. adepius, one wha has attained great skill, 
p.p. of adipisci, from ad to, apisci to attain. 
SYN. : n. Artist, master, veteran, adj. Accom- 
plished, adroit, skilful. ANT. : n. Beginner, 
learner, tyro. adj. Inexpert, unskilled, untrained. 

adequate (ad' e kwat), adj. Suitable ; 
sufficient. (F. sufftsant.) 

We talk of a man having adequate means 
when we want to say that he has sufficient 
to supply his wants. If we go out in a shower 
of rain dressed in waterproof garments we 
are adequately (ad' e kwat li, adv.) equipped 
for the weather and are in a state of adequate- 
ness (ad' e kwat nes, n.) or adequacy (ad' e 
kwa si, n.). 

L. adaequaius, p.p. of adaequare, from ad to, 
aequare to make equal. SYN. : Commensurate, 
competent, equal, qualified. ANT. : Inadequate, 
unfit, unsuitable. 

Adhere. A barnacle attached to drift- 
wood, to which it adheres by means of a 
natural cement. 

adhere (ad her'), v.i. To stick (to) ; to 
remain firmly attached. (F. adherer a.) 

In an argument a person, having expressed 
an opinion and finding that someone else 
differs from him, is said to adhere to his 
statement when he " sticks to " what he 
has already said, in spite of all efforts to make 
him alter his opinion. Glue or gum is an 
adhesive (ad he" siv, adj.) 
substance or an adhesive 
(n.) because it ha the 
power of making things 
stick / ogether, or bringing 
about a state of adhesive- 
ness (ad he" siv lies, .) 

Anyone who is a follower 
or believer in a certain 
principle, person, or party, 
is said to be an adherent 
(ad her' ent, n.) of that 
principle, person, or party. 
The act of standing by, or 
being firmly attached to, 
a person is called adher- 
ence (ad her' ens, .\ and 
the process of being at- 
tached to a substance, or, 
in pathology, the vital 
union between two sur- 
faces of a living body 
which have before been 
separated is called adhesion 
(ad he" zhun, n.). 

L. adhaerere, from ad to, 
haerere to stick. SYN. : Belong, cling, cohere, 
hold, stick. ANT. : Part, separate, sever. 

adiabatic (ad i a bat' ik), adj. Not allow- 
ing heat to pass. (F. adiabatique.) 

Adiabatic is used always in reference to 
pressure, especially that of steam in engines. 
An expanding gas always cools, cool gas 
gives less pressure than hot, the result being 
that an engine is less powerful than it would 
be if the temperature of the steam could be 
kept the same throughout its'aclion. When 
the temperature changes the pressure Is 
called adiabatic, when kept the same it is 

No engine is perfectly isothermal, but by 
the combined action of boiler and condenser 
engineers have constructed engines in which 
the loss due to steam expanding adiabatically 
(ad i a bat' ik al li, adv.) has been very much 

Gr. a- not, dia through, batos passable, verbal 
adj. from bainein to go. 

adiantum (ad i an' turn), n. A group of 
ferns. (F. adiante.) 

The best known fern belonging to this 
group is Adiantum capillus-veneris, or 
maidenhair fern. Its leaves keep dry in 
water, whence the name. It is a native of 
Britain, but is becoming rare. A. pedafiun. 
a species found in the United States, is 
another member of the group. 

Gr. a- not, diantos wettable, from diainein to 




and int. Farewell 
or adieux (a duz') 

adieu (a du'), n. 
good-bye, pi. adieus 
(F. adieu.} 

This word is a combination or joining to- 
gether of the French words a, meaning " to," 
and Dieu, meaning " God," and is an ellip- 
tical form of " I commend you to God," 
" elliptical " meaning that some word or words 
have been left out. 

Adieu. A farewell scene on the departure of a liner from Sydney 
harbour. On this occasion thousands of paper streamers were flung 
from the quay to the steamer by Australians bidding their friends adieu. 

adipose (ad' i pos), adj. Full of fat ; 
fatty, n. Animal fat. (F. adipeux.) 

One who is extremely fat is sa : d to be 
adipose, and his fatness is adiposity (ad i pos' 
i ti, n.) or adiposeness (ad' i pos nes, n.). 
Fishes belonging to the salmon family, in- 
cluding the salmon, bull-trout, salmon trout, 
common trout, char, and grayling, have an 
adipose fin (n.), a small soft fin, without rays, 
on the back near the tail. Adipose tissue 
(.) is the anatomical name for the masses of 
cells in which globules of fat are stored 
up in the body. 

L.L. adiposus, from adeps (gen. adip-is) fat. 
SYN. : Corpulent, fat, obese, stout. ANT.: 
Bony, gaunt, lean, thin. 

adit (ad' it), n. An underground passage. 
(F. galerie, entree.) 

When miners go to their work they fre- 
quently enter the mine by passing through 
an adit, which is a tunnel or horizontal, open- 
ing in the side of a hill or mountain. Adit 
also means admission, in which sense 
Tennyson wrote : " Yourself and yours shall 
have free adit." 

L. aditus (n.) approach, from 
ad to, ire to go. 

adjacent (ad ja' sent), 
adj. Near by ; c'ose to. (F. 
adjacent, contigu.) 

Something near at hand is 
situated adjac-nty (ad ja' 
sent li, adv. , and such 
adjacency (ad ja' sen si, n.) 
may be very convenient. 

L. adjacens, pres. p. (gen. 
adjacent-is), from ad to, near, 
jacere to lie. SYN. : Adjoin- 
ing, close, contiguous, near, 
neighbouring. ANT. : Detached, 
distant, remote, separate. 

adjective (ad' jektiv),7z. 
A word which is commonly 
used with a noun to give it 
various shades of meaning. 
(F. adjectif.) 

If we speak of a rainy 
day, a sunny day, or a dull 
day, the words rainy, sunny, 
and dull are used in an 
adjectival (ad jek tiv' a , adj.) 
sense, or adjecti/ely (ad jek 
t.v li, adv.}. See page xxxiii. 

L. adjectivus added to, from 
ad to, jacere to throw, put (p.p. 
adjectus) . 

adjoin (ad join'), v.t. To 
: oin. v.i. To be next to or 
in contact with. (OF. ad- 
joindre ; F. joindre : etre 
con igu a.) 

Houses that are next to 
one another adjoin each 
other, and are adjoining (ad 
join' ing, adj.) houses. 

L. adjungere, from ad to, 
jungere to join. SYN. : Add, 
affix, attach, join on. ANT. : Abstract, deduct, 
dissever, sever. 

adjourn (ad jern'), v.t. To stop for awhile ; 
to postpone, v.i. To suspend or close business 
lor a time. (F. ajourner ; s'ajourner.) 

When the British Parliament meets it sits 
from day to day for what is called a session. 
at the end of which it adjourns or suspends 
its daily meetings for a certain time. This 
act of adjourning, and the period between 
two sessions are each called an adjournment 
(ad jern' ment, n.). 

L.L. adjornare to fix for, put off until another 
day? from ad to, L.L. jurnus (cp. L. diurni<*, 
dies) day (F. jour). SYN. : Defer, delay, post- 
pone, put off. ANT. : Complete, conclude. 
dispatch, terminate. 




adjudge (ad juj'), v.t. To judge. (F. 
declarer, decerner.) 

A magistrate may adjudge a prisoner to 
be guilty or innocent, and a number of people 
sitting as a judging committee may adjudge 
a picture, an essay, or a poem as worthy to 
receive a prize. Such action is an adjudgment 
(ad juj' ment, n.), as is the actual decision 
come to. 

L. adjudicare, from ad to, judicare to judge. 
SYN. : Decide, decree, determine, judge. ANT. : 
Hesitate, vacillate, waver. 

Adjudge. Adjudging entries at a West of England 
foxhound show. 

adjudicate 'ad oo' di kat), v.t. To judge. 
v.i. To give a judicial decision ; to act as a 
judge. (F. juger.) 

In a court of law a judge sits to decide or 
adjudicate lawsuits ; he is an adjudicator (ad 
joo di ka tor, n.) and his decision or verdict 
is an adjudication (ad joo di ka' shun, n.). 

SYN. and ANT. : See adjudge. 

adjunct (ad' junkt), n. A thing added or 
joined to something else ; in grammar, words 
added to the subject or predicate, adj. Addi- 
tional. (F. accessoire ; ajoute.) 

To motorists a garage is a valuable adjunct 
to a house. In the sentence, " All the roads 
in our -part of the country are under water," 
the words in italics are an adjunct ; they 
qualify the other words and limit their 
meaning. If a landowner purchases an ad- 
joining piece of land he effects an adjunction 
(ad junk' shun, n.) to his property, the added 
portion being an adjunctive (ad junk' tiv, n.). 
The purchase would be an adjunctive (adj.) 
one, and may be said to have been made 
adjunctively (ad junk' tiv li, adv.). A person 
associating with or helping another in any 
way is referred to as an adjunct. (F. adjoint.) 

L. adjungere, from ad to, jungere to join 
(p.p. adjunctus). SYN. : Addition, appendage, 
accessory, associate, help. ANT. : Detraction, 

adjure (ad joor'), v.t. To charge or 
demand on oath ; to request with great 
solemnity ; to entreat. (F. .adjurer.) 

An earnest entreaty of this kind, such as 
might be made by a father on parting with 
his son, is an adjuration (ad joo ra' shim, n.), 
or an appeal of an adjuratory (ad joo ra' tor i, 
adj.) nature. 

L. adjurare to swear to, from ad to, jurare to 
swear; in L.L. =to charge on oath. SYN.: 
Charge, command, direct, enjoin. 

adjust (ad just'), v.t. To put right ; to put 
in order ; to settle a difference ; to alter. 
(F. ajuster.) 

A dispute or disagreement, or a piece of 
machinery out of order, is usually adjustable 
(ad just' abl, adj.) if hand'ed with skill. One 
who is able to maks the ad ustment ad just' 
ment, n.) i; an adjuster- (ad just' er, n.). 

When a ship has gon down at sea or a 
building has been burnt, it is necessary, if the 
precaution to insure against loss or damage 
has been taken, to settle the proper sum of 
money to be paid ; this is called an adjust- 

F. ajuster from L.L. adjuxtare to bring near 
(L. juxta near) ; altered through the influence of 
L. Justus fit, correct. SYN. : Agree, arrange, 
fit, rectify, regulate. ANT. : Derange, disorder, 
displace, unsettle. 

Adjustment.- Engineers adjusting the position of a 
girder when building the Quebec bridge. 

adjutant (ad' ju tant), n. A help or 
helper ; an officer in the army. (F. aide, 

The word is now used almost entirely in a 
military sense. Every regiment or battalion 
has an adjutant attached to it, whose duty 
it is to help the commanding officer by re- 
ceiving and passing on orders, attending to 
reports, and so on. He has also to look after 
matters relating to the quarters of the troops, 




the men's disciplina, and the handing out of 
ammunition and other things required from 
time to time. 

Usually the adjutant is an officer with the 
rank of captain, but sometimes a lieutenant 
is appointed. The office or rank of adjutant 
is an adjutancy (ad' ju tan si, n.). 

L. adjutare, from ad to, jutare (frequentative 
of juvare) to help. 

adjutant-bird (ad' ju tant berd), n. A 
large stork. (F. adjudant.) 

A scavenger, and proud of its occupation 
such may be said with truth of the adjutant- 
bird of India (Leptoptilus argala). The self- 
importance of this large stork is apparent 
from the dignity of its walk 
and carriage, .which first sug- 
gested the name by which it 
is popularly known, the bird's 
proud bearing reminding 
those who nicknamed it of an 
army officer on parade. Still, 
one can forgive the adjutant- 
bird for being proud, seeing 
it is so useful in a hot 
country. In a land like 
India, disease . would soon 
spread if dead anmals and 
refuse were allowed to lie in 
the hot sun to rot. 

The adjutant-bird does not 
mind what it eats, and so 
active is it in disposing of 
decaying animal matter that 
no one in India would think 
of doing it any harm. Stand- 
ing about five feet high, the 
adjutant-bird is a good flier, 
and can detect carrion as 
quickly as the vultures, in 
whose company it is often 
seen. These storks are com- 
mon in the Malay Archipelago 
and Eastern India, especially 
in Bengal. There is a smaller 
variety in Africa. One 
peculiar thing about .the 
adjutant-bird is the large 
pouch hanging from its throa :. 
It is shaped like a sausage, 
about sixteen inches long, 
and is believed to help the 
bird to breathe. The head and 
neck are nearly bare. 

administer (ad min' is ter), v.t. To 
manage, conduct, v.i. To minister. (F. 

A tradesman conducts or administers his 
business, a lawyer administers the property 
of. a dead person, a doctor administers an 
anaesthetic. After death a person's estate 
becomes administrable (ad min' is tra bl, 
adj.) and its administration (ad min is tra' 
shim, n.) may be undertaken by a lawyer or 
other appointed person. 

The lawyer acts administratively (ad min' 
is tra tiv li, adv.) when he becomes the 

Adjutant - bird. 

administrator (ad min' is tra tor, n.) or 
administrant (ad min' is trant, n.), and his 
services are of an administrative (ad min' 
is tra tiv, adj.) character. The office, of an 
administrator, or an administratrix (ad min' 
is tra trix, fern, n.) is an administratorship 
(ad min' is tra tor ship, n.). 

L. administrare, from ad to, ministr are (minister) 
to serve (one who serves). SYN. : Control, 
direct, dispense, superintend. ANT. : Betray, 
mismanage, refuse, withhold. 

administration (ad min is tra' shun), n. 
The act of one who administers ; the ministers 
who carry on the government of a country. 
(F. administration, gonvernement.) 

When a Prime Minister of Great Britain 
and his Government resign, 
the King sends for the leader 
of another political party 
and asks him to form a new 
Ministry to carry on the 
government of the country. 
If he is willing to accept 
office, he usually becomes 
Prime Minister himself, and 
selects, according to his own 
judgment, ministers to fill 
the high positions. This 
body of men is called the 
Administration, and they 
remain in office so long as 
their Government remains in 
power. The king, however, 
may dismiss a minister if he 
wishes to do so. 

admirable (ad' mir abl), 
adj. Worthy of admiration ; 
excellent ; wonderful. (F. 

That a lad who lived over 
35 years ago shou'd still be 
famous in literature as the 
Admirable Crichton is very 
remarkable. This lad was 
James Crichton. He was born 
about 1560 and educated 
at St. Andrews, Scotland. 
He is said to have mastered 
12 languages before he was 
17 years old, and been 
familiar with all the sciences 
by the age of 20. He was 
also, according to report, 
an accomplished musician, 
poet, athlete, and actor. 
On leaving the University, he travelled in 
Europe, and gained the admiration of all he 
met by his extraordinary learning, which he 
often put to the test in public debates with 
the most famous men of his day. Admirable 
in all he did, his death was nevertheless a 
sorry one, for he was killed in a street quarrel 
when about 25 years of age by his pupil, 
the young prince of Mantua. See admire. 

L. admirabilis, deserving admiration, from 
admirari, from ad to, at, mirari to wonder. 
SYN. : Choice, first-rate, good, precious, splendid. 
ANT. : Bad, defective, imperfect, poor, worthless. 

The feathered 
of the East. 


1. Robert Blake (1599-1657). 2. Viscount Torrington (1663-1733). 3. Richard Kempenfelt (1718-82). 
4. Baron Anson (1697-1762). 5. Baron Collingwood (1750-1810). 6. Viscount Nelson (1758-1805). 
7. John Benbow (1653-1702). 8. Baron Rodney (1719-92). 9. Earl Howe (1726-99). 10. Viscount 
Bridport (1727-1814). 11. Viscount Hood (1724-1816). 12. Baron de Saumarez (1757-1836). 
13. Viscount Exmouih (1757-1833). 14. Baron Hawke (1705-81). 15. Earl of St. Vincent (1735-1823). 





From the stalwart Days of gallant Sir William Leybourne to the present Time 

Gold lace on a Rear- 
admiral's sleeve. 

admiral (ad' mir al), n. The commander 

of a fleet or of a squadron. (F. amirdl.) 
\\iih the sails of his vessel in ribbons, after 
having been in action 
for nearly two hours 
with the largest French 
battleship he had ever 
seen, Nelson wrote to his 
wife, " I wish to be an 
Admiral, and in the com- 
mand of the English 
fleet." Less than two 
years later he hoisted 
his flag as a rear-admiral, 

the lowest of the four grades of the rank in 

the service, the others being Vice-admiral, 

Admiral, and Admiral of 

the Fleet. 

England's first ad- 
miral was Sir William 

Leybourne, who had 

served as a soldier and 

was called by the title so 

long ago as 1297. He 

was closely followed by 

Gervase Alard, a brave 

soldier whom Edward I 

put in charge of the ships 

of the Cinque Ports and 

elsewhere. The marble 

tomb of Alard may be 

seen in the old church at 

Winchelsea, which was 

once the proud possessor 

of a harbour and is now 

stranded high and dry 

on a hill. 

Sir John Beauchamp 

was appointed " admiral 

of all the seas " for a 

year in 1360. The more 

important office of Lord 

High Admiral seems to 

have been created at the 

beginning of the fifteenth 

century, but has now- 
given place to the Board 

of Admiralty. The rank 

of Admiral and General- 

at-Sea, granted by 

Cromwell to Robert 

Blake and two other colonels of the army 

three weeks after the execution of Charles I, 
has also disappeared. 
The word admiralship 
(ad' mir al ship, n.) and 
admiralty (ad' mir al ti, 
n.) both mean the office 
of an admiral. The 
latter term is also the 
name of the department 
which deals with naval 

Sleeve of a Vice- 
admiral, matters. 

Gold lace on an 
Admiral's sleeve. 

Admiral of the Fleet 
who became First 

Cinque is the old French word for five, and 
it was used to denote the ports of Hastings, 
Sandwich, Dover, Romney, and Hythe. The 
" ancient towns " of 
Winchelsea and Rye 
were afterwards in- 
cluded, with Lydd, 
Faversham, Folkestone, 
Deal, Tenterden, 
Margate, Ramsgate, and 
other places as "limbs." 
These cradles of the 
British Navy still bear 
their titles, courts con- 
tinue to be held, and there is a Lord Warden, 
a position filled at various times by the Duke 

of Wellington, Lord 

Curzon, the Earl of 
Ypres, and Lord 
Allenby. The ports have 
fallen from their high 
estate through no fault 
of their own. The sea 
has played tricks with 
some of them, battle- 
ships have grown too big 
for all with the exception 
of Dover, and Great 
Britain no longer 
depends on outside as- 
sistance for the supply 
of vessels and sailors. 

In the days of Alfred 
the Great and Edward 
the Coniessor the stal- 
warts of the south coast 
fought the king's 
enemies, but it was not 
until 1087 that the 
Cinque Ports were 
definitely established by 
William of Normandy. 
In return for certain 
privileges they agreed to 
supply 1,197 men an d 
boys and fifty - seven 
vessels for fifteen days in 
any one year at the 
expense of the towns. 
If they were required 
for a longer time the 
cost was borne by the king. 

Under the brave Hubert de Burgh, the 
men of the Cinque Ports 
helped to win a big 
battle off the South ^ %. 

Foreland in 1217, fight- 
ing with crossbows, axes, 
swords, scythes on poles, 
and quicklime, and they 
also shared in many 
another tussle with the 

. , Sleeve of an Admiral 

French. O f the Fleet. 

Sir Charles Madden. 
Sea Lord in 1927. 



The first regular Navy Board, whose duty 
was to look after the business of building 
supplies, and other matters which officers at 
sea could not attend to themselves, came into 
being during the reign of Henry VIII, and 
continued the work of th3 Keeper of the 
King's Ships. In 1832 
it was merged into the 
Admiralty, which has 
many departments 
under a civilian First 
Lord, who is assisted by 
three Sea Lords in all 
matters relating to the 
manning of the navy 
and its organisation as a 
fighting force. Legal 
cases in connexion with 
shipping are decided in 
the Admiralty Court. 

In natural history the 
proud title of admiral is 
shared by two butter- 
flies, the red admiral 
(Pyrameis atalanta) and 
the white admiral (Limenitus Camilla], both 
of which are to be found in Great Britain. 
The former is a particularly beautiful insect, 
and when the wings are open the scarlet 
bands and edges quickly catch the eye. The 
colouring of the under side of the wings is 
mottled black and brown. 

O.F. and M.E. amiral, from Arabic ameey 
ruler, a/-bahr of the sea, L.L. amiraldus, admiral- 
dus, the d being due to a supposed connexion with 
L. admirari to wonder at. 

admire (ad mir'), v.t. To regard with 
pleasure ; to think highly of. (F. admirer.) 

An admirer (ad mir' er, n.) looks admiringly 
(ad mir' ing li, adv.) at an object that is 
lovely, or admirable (ad' mir abl, adj.). To 
have qualities that deserve to be admired is 
adrnirability (ad' mir ab il i ti, n.), or ad- 
mirableness (ad' mir abl nes, n.). The 
wonder, love, or pleasure that is aroused by 
a beautiful object is called admiration (ad mi 
ra' shun, n.). A thing undertaken in a way 

Admiral. In the butterfly world there are both 

a red and white admiral. The former is 

shown above. 

to excite wonder or esteem is admirably (ad' 
mir ab li, adv.) done. 

See admirable. SYN. : Approve, esteem, 
honour, respect, venerate. ANT. : Abhor, dis- 
like, hate, scorn. 

admissible (ad mis' ibl), adj. Capable of 
being admitted or 
allowed. (F. admissible.) 
When a prisoner is 
being tried, or a witness 
is giving evidence, it 
often happens that a 
question arises as to 
whether a counsel should 
be allowed to cross-ex- 
amine on certain points, 
or whether certain facts 
should be disclosed to 
the court. In these 
circumstances, if the 
judge considers that such 
matters have nothing to 
do with the case, or 
might tend to prevent 
a fair trial, he may 
decide that they are not admissible. On tha 
other hand, the judge may regard them 
admissibly (ad mis' ib li, adv.] and concede 
their admissibility (ad mis i bil' i ti, .). 

L.L. admissibilis , from L. admittere, from ad to, 
mittere to send, permit (p.p. admissus). SYN. : 
Allowable, permissible, possible. ANT. : Absurd, 
improper, wrong. 

admit (ad mit'), v.t. To allow to enter ; 
to agree that a thing is true ; to permit. 
(F. admettre.) 

We admit a visitor, or grant him admission 
(ad mish' un, n.) or admittance (ad mit' 
ans, n.). A point of view agreed upon is 
admitted (ad mit' ed, part, adj.) and is 
admittedly (ad mit' ed li, adv.) correct. A 
prisoner may be admittable (ad mit' abl, 
adj.) to bail. Admissive (ad mis' iv, adj.) 
means tending to admit. 

See admissible. SYN. : Accept, acknowledge, 
allow, receive, suffer. ANT. : Debar, deny, 
exclude, reject. 

Admiration. Admirers of the beautiful in nature enjoying the grandeur of Pike's Peak, in Colorado, U.S.A. 
Although its height is 14,109 ft., motor-cars frequently make the ascent. 




admix (ad miks'), v.t. To mix one thing 
with another. (F. meler.) 

The ingredients of a Christmas pudding 
when admixed (ad mikst'. p.p.) make a 
delicious admixture (ad miles' tur, n.). 

L. admiscere, from ad to, miscere to mix (p.p. 

Admix. A bonnie Scottish lassie admixing the 
ingredients of a pudding. 

admonish (ad mon' isli), v.t. To speak in 
a, serious, gentle, and friendly way to one 
who has done wrong. (F. ndmonester, ve- 

One who speaks in this way is an admon- 
isher (ad mon' ish er, n.) and the warning 
and counsel thus given is admonishment (ad 
mon' ish ment, n.). 

L.L. admonestare, from ad to, monestare 
(monere) to warn, advise. SYN*. : Advise, 
caution, dissuade, instruct, warn. ANT. : Abet, 
applaud, encourage, instigate. 

admonition (ad mon ish' un), n. Friendly 
warning and advice. (F. admonition.) 

There was a time when children who had 
done wrong were punished in a merciless 
manner, being sent to prison for small 
offences. Nowadays, a wiser policy is fol- 
lowed, and many first offenders are saved 
from drifting into further crime by being 
dismissed with an admonition and given 
another chance. An admonitive (ad mon' 
i tiv, adj.) or admonitory (ad mon' i to ri, 
adj.) warning, or counsel delivered admoni- 
tively (ad mon' i tiv li, adv.) by a wise and 
kindly admonitor (ad mon' i tor, n.) often has 
good results. 

See admonish. SYN. : Advice, caution, hint, 
reproof, warning. ANT. : Applause, encourage- 
ment, incitement, instigation. 

adnate (ad' nat), adj. Growing attached. 
(F. adne.) 

This word is used mainly by scientific 
botanists chiefly to describe a peculiarity, 

called adnascence (ad nas' ens, n.), in the 
anthers of flowers, the little pads holding 
the pollen. When the whole length of the 
pollen pads is attached to the tiny stalks 
supporting them, they are said to be-adnate. 
Herb Paris is an example of this adnation 
(ad na' shun, n.) and is thus an adnascent 
(ad nas' ent, adj.) plant. 

L. adnatus (p.p.), from ad to, nasci to be born. 

ado (a doo'), n. Trouble; fuss. (F. 
peine', bruit.) 

Shakespeare uses this word in the title 
of one of his' comedies, " Much Ado About 

Scand. at to, E. do ; cp. E. to-do (n. in same 
sense as ado). SYN.: Bustle, labour, noise, 
pains. ANT. : Calm, composure, quiet. 

adobe (a do' be), u. A brick dried in the 
sun. (F. adobe.) 

In hot countries like Mexico and North 
Africa, bricks are dried in the sun, but in 
damp countries like our own, they are dried 
and hardened by burning. 

Span., perhaps of Arabic origin from at-tub 
(at=al the, tub brick). 

Adobe. An adobe house built of brick dried in the 
sun, and not hardened by burning. 

adolescence (ad 6 les 'ens), n. The period 
between childhood and manhood or woman- 
hood. (F. adolescence.) 

Any boy or girl who has passed the child 
stage of life is an adolescent (ad 6 les' ent, n.) 
and has entered on the period of adolescence 
or adolescency (ad 6 les' en si, .). The 
adolescent (adj.) period of females is from 
about 12 to 21, and of males from about 14 
to 25. 

L. adolescentia, from adolescere, from ad to, up, 
olescere to grow (inceptive form). 

Adonis (a do' nis), n. A beautiful youth ; 
a dandy. (F. Adonis.) 

In a general sense we use this word for a 
handsome yojung man and for a fop or dandy, 
just as we may call a strong man a Samson. 
. We get the word from the Greek story of 
Adonis, the beautiful youth who was beloved 
by the goddess Aphrodita, or Venus, as she 
was called by the Romans. The story of 
the love of Venus and the death of Adonis, 




who was slain by a boar, is told by Shake- 
speare in his poem " Venus and Adonis." 
To adonize (ad 6' nlz, v.t. and v.i.) is to adorn 
or play the part of an Adonis. 

There is a plant called Adonis autumnalis, 
better known as Pheasant's Eye. Growing 
in corn fields, and sometimes sown in gardens, 
it is a bushy plant about 10 inches high, with 
a red buttercup-shaped flower. 

In classical poetry there is a metre named 
after Adonis. It is called adonic (a don' ik, 
adj.) and consists of a dactyl, one long and 
two short syllables (" "), and a spondee, 
two long syllables (" "). 

The name of Adonis, really an Oriental deity 
of vegetation or corn-spirit, is of Phoenician or 
Syrian origin (from adon, Lord). 

Adornment. An Indian Maharajah adorned with 
jewels worth a king's ransom. 

adopt (a dopt'), v.t. To accept or choose 
as one's own. (F. adopter.) 

We may adopt a child, a policy, a view, or 
a cause. A person who adopts a child is an 
adopter (a dopt' er, 11.), his act is adoption 
(a dop' shun, n.). The child adopted 
(a dopt' ed, part, adj.) is the subject of an 
adoptional (a dop' shun al, adj.) act, and the 
adopter, who has acted adoptively (a dop' 
tiv li, adv.) becomes an adoptive (a dop' tiv, 
adj.) parent. 

By the Adoption of Children Act, 1926, 
adoption is now legalized in Great Britain. 
When a judge makes an adoption order, the 
adopter becomes in law the parent of the 
adopted child just as if the child was his or 
her own from birth. The duties of the 

adopted child become the same as those of 
other children, including the liability to 
support its parents, if need be. 

L. adoptare, from ad to, optare to wish, choose. 
SYN. : Accept, approve, assume, maintain, 
support. ANT. : Abandon, disown, renounce, 

adore (a dor'), v.t. To love exceedingly 
or worship, v.i. To offer worship. (F. 

An adorer (a dor' er, n.) may look adoringly 
(a dor' ing li, adv.) at the object of his affec- 
tion, whom he regards as adorable (a dor' abl, 
adj.). A gifted vocalist may sing adorably 
(a dor' ab li, adv.). One who is beautiful 
and good has the quality of adorableness 
(a dor' abl nes, n.) or adorability (a dor a bil' 
i ti, n.). Supreme love or divine worship is 
adoration (ad or a' shun, n.). 

L. adorare, from ad to, orare to pray, speak (use 
the mouth, os, gen. oris). SYN.: Admire, idolize, 
praise, revere, venerate. ANT. : Abhor, despise, 
detest, execrate, hate. 

adorn (a dorn'), v.t. To make beautiful ; 
to decorate. (F. orner.) 

Jewels adorn a bride, who is adorned (a 
dornd', part, adj.) with such adornment 
(a dorn' ment, n..) or adorning (a dorn' ing, 
n.). If she adds adorning (adj.) flowers to 
her wedding dress she treats it adorningly 
(a dorn' ing li, adv.) and becomes an adorner 
(a dorn' er, n.). 

L. adornare, from ad to, ornare, to ornament. 
SYN. : Beautify, bedeck, decorate, embellish, 
ornament. ANT.: Deface, deform, disfigure, 
mar, spoil. 

adrift (a drift'), adv. and adj. Drifting 
helplessly, as a ship without a rudder. (F. 
a I'abandon, a la derive.) 

This word is mostly used in connexion with 
the sea or a swift current, although a poor 
person without home or friends may be said 
to be cast adrift in the world. 

E. a- =on,' A.-S. drlfan to drive, with suffix 
-t (= on drift). See drift. 

adroit (a droit'), adj. Nimble and clever, 
bodily or mentally. (F. adroit.) 

A clever juggler does his tricks adroitly 
(a droit' li, adv.) or with adroitness (a droit' 
nes, n.). 

L. ad to, directus well-directed (p.p. of dirigere 
to direct) ; F. a droit to the right. SYN. : 
Cunning, dexterous, expert, ingenious, skilful. 
ANT. : Awkward, bungling, clumsy, unskilful. 

adscript (ad' skript), adj. Written after ; 
attached to the soil, as a serf. n. One held to 
service ; a serf. (F. serf.) 

At the time of the Roman occupation, and 
onwards until feudalism was abolished, the 
lower classes of the peasantry in England 
and in Europe were attached to the soil 
(L. ascriptus glebae) of their lord's estate as 
serfs, and were in an almost complete sense 
the personal property of their master. In 
the " Memoir " of Robert Chambers, the 
Edinburgh publisher, his brother William 



tells how, about 1819, he often spoke to old 
salt-makers in Midlothian, who, before 1799, 
had been serfs. These people and their fore- 
fathers had been legally sold with the estate 
on which they dwelt, and could not leave 
the place to which they belonged. They 
were adscripts, or, as the writer put it : 
" They and their children had been heritable 
fixtures to the spot." 

Adscript also means written after, as 
distinguished from written beneath, which 
is subscript. 

L. ascribere, from as=ad to, scribere to write, 
enter in a list (p.p. ascriptus). 

adulate (ad' u lat), v.t. To natter ex- 
tremely ; to fawn upon. (F. flatter, caresser.) 

Extreme flattery is adulation (ad u la' 
shun, n.). One who flatters another very 
much is called an adulator .(ad'u lat or, n.), 
and such flattery is adulatory (ad' u la to ri, 

L. adulari to natter, p.p. adulatus. Some 
suggest that the word originally meant " to wag 
the tail like a dog." SYN. : Fawn, natter, un- 
duly praise. ANT. : Asperse, defame, libel, 

Adullamite (a dul' am It), n. A villager 
belonging to Adullam. 

When David, some time after killing 
Goliath, fled from King Saul, he took refuge 
in the Cave of Adullam, where he gathered 
400 discontented men around him (i Samuel 
xxii, i, 2). Adullamites was a nickname 
given by John Bright to a section of dis- 
contented Liberal Members of Parliament 
who, in 1866, withdrew from their party 
because of their opposition to Gladstone's 
Reform Bill. The act of withdrawing from 
a party or association of any kind is called 
adullamy (a dul' am i, .). 

adult (a dult), adj. Grown up. n. A 
full-grown person. (F. adulte.) 

At the age of twenty-one a boy or girl 
becomes an adult. A man is then entitled 
to vote at Parliamentary elections, provided 
he complies with certain requirements, 
as the State considers him to have an adult 
mind. This condition of manhood is called 
adultness (a dult' nes, n.). 

L. adolescere (p.p. adultus), from ad to, olescere 
to (begin to) grow (olere). 

adulterate (a dul' ter at), v.t. To lower 
the quality or value of anything by mixing 
something inferior with it. (F. adulterer.) 

This word is used chiefly in connexion with 
food, the adulteration (a dul ter a' shun, n.) 
of which has been a source of profit to un- 
scrupulous persons from very early times. In 
ancient Greece and Rome fraud of this kind 
was not unknown, wine being the chief 
article adulterated, and steps were taken to 
remedy the evil practice. 

In England, from the thirteenth century on- 
wards, a number of laws have been made with 
a view to preventing manufacturers and 
sellers from adulterating articles of food and 
drink. The law takes everv care to ensure 

that such articles offered for sale are what 
they are intended to be. Where any article 
is adulterated for some particular reason 
the maker has to say so. 

A thing which adulterates is an adulterant 
(a dul' ter ant, n.), and the person who uses 
an adulterant is an adulterator (a dul' ter 
a tor, n.). Milk that has had water mixed 
into it has been treated adulterately (a dul' 
ter at li, adv.}. 

L. adulterare, probably from ad to, alter other, 
different from what it should be. SYN*. : Cor- 
rupt, debase, falsify. 

adumbrate (ad' um brat), v.t. To fore- 
shadow ; to shadow forth ; to overshadow. 
(F.figurer a I'avance ; ebaucher.) 

The well-known saying, " Coming events 
cast their shadows before," gives an idea of 
the most usual meaning of this word. Before 
we go away for our holidays we pack the 
things we want to take with us. The packing 
is the " shadow " of the coming event, a sign 
that we are going away, an adumbration 
(ad um bra' shun, n.) of our holiday, and 
adumbrative (a dum' bra tiv, adj.) of the 
happy times we shall have. 

L. adumbrare (p.p. -bratus), from ad to, umbra 
shade. SYN. : Hint, indicate, outline, shadow, 
typify. ANT. : Fulfil, misrepresent, realize. 

Advance. Troops advancing along a road before 
going into action. 

advance (ad vans'), v.t. To bring or 
move forward, v.i. To go forward, n. The 
act of moving forward ; an approach towards 
a better understanding or a closer acquaint- 
ance ; a loan. adj. Beforehand. (F.avancer; 
avance ; avant.) 

A body of soldiers advances into action or 
takes up an advanced (ad vanst', adj.) position. 




An advance offer in business is one that 
is made beforehand. To put forward a state- 
ment or argument is to advance it. A 
government makes advances or overtures to 
another in the hope of settling differences. 

A sum of money lent is an advance, and 
the lender of the money is the advancer 
(ad vans' er, n.). A person advances in his 
profession who is promoted, such promotion 
being advancement (ad vans' ment, n.). 

F. avancer, L.L. abanteare, from ab (=av) 
from, ante before ; the d being due to the idea 
thata6=a^. SYN. : n. Overture, progress, rise. 
v. Augment, proceed, promote. ANT. : n. 
Depreciation, diminution, return, v. Diminish, 
retreat, suppress. 

advantage (ad van ' taj), n. Gain ; 
superiority, v.t. To profit. (F. avantage ; 

One who gets the better of an enemy is said 
to have gained an advantage. 
A certain course of action may 
be more advantageous (ad van 
ta' jus, adj.) than another, and 
in following that course one 
would act advantageously (ad 
van ta' jus li, adv.). The result 
thus obtained would show the 
advantageousness (ad van ta' jus 
nes, n.) of the action taken. 

Advantage is a term used in 
certain sports to denote the 
state of the game. In lawn 
tennis, for example, when each 
player has scored three points, 
the state of play is called deuce, 
and the next point scored 
changes it to what is known as 
advantage, or 'vantage. Should 
the server score the first point 
after deuce, then " advantage 
in " is called by the umpire, but 
if his opponent, the non-server 
wins the point " advantage out " 
is called. When a game is won 
after each player has won five 
games the score is advantage 

F. avantage, from avant, from L. 
ab (=av) from, ante before (for the 
d see the word advance). SYN. : 
Benefit, help, privilege. ANT. : Difficulty, 
hindrance, loss. 

advent (ad' vent), n. A period in the 
Christian Church calendar ; an arrival, 
especially of some important person or event. 
(F. A vent, arrivfo.) 

We speak of the advent of spring or of 
some great social reform, but the best-known 
use of the word is for the holy season in which 
Christians prepare for the celebration of 

In Advent, Christians are reminded 
specially of Christ's first coming (or Advent) 
into the world as the Saviour, and they also 
look forward to His second coming as the 
Judge. Except in the Eastern Church, where 
it begins on St. Martin's Day (November n), 

Advent starts on the Sunday nearest to 
St. Andrew's Day (November 30). 

Adventist (ad' ven tist, n.) is the name of 
various sects. The Second Adventists believe 
in the early second coming of Christ. Seventh 
Day Adventists also believe in this, and they 
keep the seventh day of the week, Saturday 
(the old Sabbath) as the Sabbath, not 

L. adventus arrival, from ad to, venire to come. 
SYN. : Approach, arrival, coming. ANT. : De- 
parture, exit, retirement. 

adventitious (ad ven tish' us), adj. 
Added from outside ; not belonging natur- 
ally ; not in the ordinary course of things. 
(F. accidentel.) 

Powder and paint, if indeed they are aids 
to beauty, are adventitious aids. A man 
may make a perfectly ordinary speech at the 

Adventitious. The adventitious roots of the banyan tree. When 
they reach the ground they turn into parent trees. 

opening of a bazaar, and then find that his 
political opponents have misrepresented what 
he said by adventitiously (ad ven tish' us 
li, adv.) giving a political flavour to his 

Examples of adventitiousness (ad ven tish' 
us nes, n.) are common in the vegetable 
kingdom. Roots, buds and other parts of 
plants often appear in unusual places. 
Leaves sometimes grow adventitious buds, 
and the banyan tree of India throws out 
from its branches adventitious roots, which 
eventually reach the ground and turn into 
parent trees. 

L. adventicius (later spelt -titius) foreign, from 
ad to, venire to come. SYN. : Accidental, casual, 
extrinsic. ANT. : Appropriate, intrinsic, regular. 




Doers of Daring Deeds that Helped to Make the British Empire 


adventure (ad ven' chur), n. Risk 
uncertain undertaking, v.t. To risk 
place in danger. v.i. To dare. 
aventure; risquer ; oser.) 

The adventurer (ad ven' chur er, n.}, 
whether a man who blazes a way through a 
jungle or the stay-at-home individual who 
puts money in a trading enterprise, gave us 
the British Empire. Some of those who went 
overseas wore swords, others carried no more 
deadly weapons than a brave heart and a 
good courage. Adventurer is also used in a 
far less romantic sense, 
for it means a man 
who tries to gain social 
position by pretence. 
The feminine form is 
adventuress (ad 'ven' 
chur es, %;). 

When John Cabot 
and his adventuresome 
(ad ven' chur sum, 
adj.] crew set sail from 
Bristol in 1497 in a 
little ship laden with 
goods, he journeyed 
westward, hoping to 
reach China. He 'dis- 
covered Newfound- 
land, and was pre- 
sented by Henry VII 
with 10 for his 
trouble. To-day that 
sum would be worth 
about ^125, but it 'can 
scarcely be regarijed 
as a generous reward. 
The island itself was 
held to be of such 
little value that it was 
not until 1583 that 
Sir Humphrey Gilbert 
took formal possession of it. 

James Brooke, in return for helping the 
Sultan of Brunei, became Rajah of Sarawak, 
now a British protectorate with an area of 
some 42,000 miles. " It is a grand experi- 
ment," he wrote to his fond mother. " If it 
fails, what is it but personal inconvenience, 
the sacrifice of style and luxury ? But I 
shall not sleep the worse for my bed being 
harder, nor shall I be less happy in a cottage 
than in a mansion." 

India came to us through a body of traders 
called the East India Company, though the 
original title was much longer. In this the 
adventurous (ad ven' chur us, adj.) Drake 
played a part, for it was his capture of a 
richly laden Portuguese trading vessel re- 
turning from the East that aroused the inter- 
est of merchants, who sent out a cargo which 
was exchanged for spices and other products. 

Adventurer. James Brooke, who became Rajah of 
Sarawak, having an audience of the Sultan of Brunei. 

Queen Elizabeth granted the Company the 
sole right to trade in that part of the world, 
where it built trading-stations and forts, ob- 
tained land from the Great Mogul, ruled vast 
territories, lent huge sums of money to 
Britain, and finally in 1858 handed over the 
magnificent Indian Empire to the Crown. 

Although merchant adventurers were 
established on the continent in 1296 it was 
not until the sixteenth century that the term 
came to be generally used by various groups 
of traders. There was the " Mysterie and 
Companie of the Mer- 
chants Adventurers 
for the Discoverie of 
Regions, Dominions, 
Islands, and places un- 
known," started with 
the object of finding a 
north-eastern passage 
to the East by which 
it could carry goods. 
Three small vessels, 
the largest of 160 tons, 
were fitted out, with 
Sir Hugh Willoughby 
in command and 
Richard Chancellor as 
Pilot General. The 
ships parted company 
in a storm, and while 
Chancellor landed near 
the site of Archangel 
and sledged nearly 
1,500 miles to see Ivan 
the Terrible, the frozen 
bodies of Willoughby 
and his crew were 
found in Lapland. As 
a result of the expedi- 
tion trade was opened 
up with Russia. 
A company which still continues on its 
triumphant way, although it started as a 
very modest affair in 1670, is the Hudson's 
Bay Company, whose full title is the Governor 
and Company of Adventurers of England 
Trading into Hudson's Bay. It must be 
for ever associated with the gallant navigator, 
Henry Hudson, who gave his name to the 
river, strait, and bay which he discovered, 
and who was afterwards set adrift with his 
young son by a mutinous crew, and never 
heard of again. He died as adventurously 
(ad ven' chur us li, 'adv.) as he had lived, 
having made three expeditions to find the 
elusive North-west Passage to Asia that had 
attracted the imagination of so many men 
before him, and was long to do so. 

M.E., F. aventure, L. (res) adventura (a thing) 
about to happen, future part. fern, of advenire, 
from ad to, venire to come. 




adverb (ad' verb), n. A part of speech 
which is used with verbs, adjectives, and 
other adverbs to limit, change or make 
clearer their meaning. (F. adverbe.) 

In the sentence " the weather is very fine," 
" very " is an adverb and it shows in what 
degree the weather is fine. Clauses as well as 
single words can be used adverbially (ad ver' 
bi al li, adv.) or in an adverbial (ad ver' 
bi al, adj.) sense. 

L. adverbium, from ad to, verbum word, verb. 

adversary (ad' ver sa ri), n. An 
opponent ; a rival. (F. adversaire.) 

This word is used of anyone who takes a 
side opposite to that which another takes, 
but usually for one who in so doing adopts an 
actively unfriendly attitude. It can be 
applied to nations at war, or to people playing 
lawn tennis. Satan is sometimes called the 
adversary, in that he is the enemy of man- 

L. adversarius, from ad to, versus turned (p.p. 
of verier e). SYN. : Enemy, foe, opponent, rival. 
ANT. : Ally, comrade, friend, supporter. 

Adversary. A friendly duel 

has made 

which the adversary 
winning thrust. 

adverse (ad' vers), adj. Opposed to ; 
acting in a contrary direction. (F. adverse, 
oppose a.) 

When conditions of life are difficult, as in 
the case of a man who is poor, we speak of 
them as adverse circumstances and we say- 
that he has met with adversity (ad ver' si ti, 
n.). At sea, a wind that blows against a 
vessel while on her course, and is thus un- 
favourable to her progress, is an adverse 
wind, and the stronger it blows the more 
adversely (ad vers' li, adv.) it affects her. 

An opinion which is directly opposed to 
another is also adverse. Some men are never 
happy except when showing hostility to the 
existing governments ; they take a strange 
delight in their adverseness (ad vers' nes, n.) 
to the powers that be. In botany, a plant 
which has its leaves placed opposite each 
other on the stem is said to be adversifoliate 
(ad ver si fo' li at, adj.). 

L. adverstis, from ad to, versus turned (p.p. 
of verier e). SYN. : Contrary, harmful, opposed, 

unfavourable, unfortunate. ANT. : Advanta- 
geous, auspicious, friendly, fortunate, kind. '. 

advert (ad vert'), v.i. To turn the atten- 
tion ; to allude in passing. (F. s'occuperde, 
parler de.) 

While a party of people are discussing a 
subject one of them may turn the attention 
of the company to a matter which either 
arises or does not arise out of the subject. 
He is then said to advert to the matter. 
Such an act is advertence (ad vert' ens, n.), 
and the habit of turning the attention in this 
way is advertence or advertency (ad vert en si, 
.). One who is attentive is advertent (ad 
vert' ent, adj.) and acts advertently (ad vert' 
ent li, adv.). 

L. adverlere, from ad to, verlere to turn. SYN. : 
Allude, consider, mention, refer. ANT. : Dis- 
regard, ignore, neglect, overlook. 

advertise (ad' ver tiz), v.t. and i. To 
make public ; to call attention. (F. faire 
annoncer, inserer une annonce.) 
. A common method of advertising anything 
is to insert a paid announcement in a news- 
paper. Such an announce- 
ment is an advertisement (ad 
ver' tiz ment, n.), and the 
person who inserts it is an 
advertiser (ad ver tiz' er, n.). 
The first -newspaper adver- 
tisements in England seem to 
have .appeared about the 
middled of the seventeenth 
, century. . From 1712 until 
1853 there was a tax upon 
: advertisements' in all news- 
papers. .The cost of a full 
page . announcement in a 
single issue of a morning 
'journalmay be over 1,000. 

M.F. ' adverlir, F. avertir 
(pres. p. avertissanl), M.E. aver- 
liseri, L. adverlere, from ad to, 
vertere to turn, attend to. SYN. : 
Announce, inform, ' publish, 
promulgate. ANT. : Conceal, ignore, mislead, 

advice (ad vis'), n. Opinion offered or 
given as a guide to action or conduct ; in- 
formation ; a business notification. (F. avis.) 
If we, as private persons, make a suggestion 
as to some course to be followed we are giving 
advice ; if we consult a lawyer or a doctor 
we obtain professional advice. In business 
a formal or official notice is called an advice 
and news from a distance advices ( 
One who gives such counsel or sends such 
a notice to advise (ad viz', v.t.) the receiver 
is an adviser (ad viz' er, n.), and one who acts 
upon it is said to be well-advised or ill-advised 
according to the nature of the counsel. 

If the counsel given is good it is advisable 
(ad viz' abl, adj.) to follow it, and the 
advisableness (ad viz' abl nes, n.) or advisa- 
bility (ad viz' a bil i ti, n.) of the course is 
judged by the result. So cautioned, one 
should act prudently or advisably (ad viz' ab 
li, adv.) or advisedly (ad viz' ed li, adv.). 





Advocate. An advocate 
ready to plead in Court. 

The office of counsellor is advisership (ad viz' 
er ship, .), and to be able to give advice is 
to be ia, an advisory (ad viz' 6 ri, adj.) 

M.E., F. avis ( = a vis according to what seems 
good), from L. ad to, visum, p.p. of videri to seem. 
SYN. : Caution, counsel, instruction, recommend- 
ation, warning. ANT. : Deception, expostula- 
tion, prohibition, remonstrance. 

advocate (ad' vo kat), n. One who de- 
fends or upholds a cause ; one who pleads 
a cause in a court of law. v.t.To act or speak 
in favour of ; to 
recommend. (F. 
avocat ; soutenir.) 

In Scotland the 
chief Crown lawyer 
is called the Lord 
Advocate and the 
bar is termed the 
Faculty of Advo- 
cates. A Judge 
Advocate in the 
Army is the prose- 
cuting officer who 
appears before a 
court-martial. An- 
other use of the word 
is found in Devil's 
advocate, the person so called in the Roman 
Catholic Church who has the duty of opposing 
the claim when it is intended to add someone 
to the list of saints. 

To support an argument in a discussion, 
or to champion someone or some cause, is to 
advocate the same, and this support is 
advocacy (ad' vo ka si, n.), while advocateship 
(ad' vo kat ship, n.) is the office of one who 
thus pleads and who is acting in an advo- 
catory (ad vo ka/ to ri, adj.) manner. 

L. advocatus, p.p. of advocare, from ad to, vocare 
to call, to help. SYN. : Defend, justify, main- 
tain, support, uphold. ANT. : Counter, oppose, 
resist, withstand. 

advowson (ad vou' zon), n. The right to 
nominate or name a priest to a benefice or 
church' living. (F. patronage.) 

From very early times the founders or 
rnaintamers of a church have had the right 
to name fit persons to direct the work of 
God in the district where the church is 
established. - The lords of the manors were 
in their day the patrons of churches, and as, 
such had this right of nomination, which is 
known as advowson. To-day most of the 
advowsons belong to private persons, the 
rest belonging to the Crown, universities, and 
those who hold high offices in the Church. 
He who possesses an advowson is known as 
an advowee (ad vou' e, n.). 

O.F. advouson, L.L. advocatio, from advocatus 
(p.p. of advocare) patron, one called to help, 
from ad to, vocare to call. 

adytum (ad' i turn), n. The innermost 
chamber of a temple, often a shrine, or a 
room which contains the secret mysteries of 
religion. (F. adyte, adytum.) 

In the Temples of Solomon and of Herod 
the adytum was generally known as the 

" Holy of Holies," which only the High 
Priest was permitted to enter. After the 
conquest of Jerusalem in 63 B.C. the R man 
general Pompey, to the consternation of the 
Jews, boldly entered the holy place, and was 
disappointed to find it empty. Unlike the 
pagan temples, which preserved in the 
adytum idols or relics of the gods, the 
Jerusalem temples had no image or like- 
ness of the Unseen God of Israel. 

Things that are hidden or profound, such 
as the truths of religion or philosophy, are 
sometimes described as the adytum of 
knowledge. The word is also used for any 
room or assembly which it is a great 
privilege to enter. The plural is adyta 
(ad' i ta). - .-'*:. 

Gr. adyton place not to be entered, from a- not. 
dyein to enter. 

adze (adz), n. A cutting tool of the axe 
kind which has a thin arched blade set 
at right angles to the handle, v.t. To use 
such a tool on. (F. herminette.) 

Carpenters find the adze most useful for 
paring away irregular surfaces, while coopers 
use it for cutting the hollow sides of the 
pieces of timber that go to make barrels, 
tubs, and other articles. 

A.-S. adesa axe. 

Adze. A cutting tool used chiefly by shipbuilders 
and wheelwrights. 

aedile (e'dil), n. A magistrate of ancient 
Rome. (F. e'dile.) 

In Roman city life the aedile was an im- 
portant figure. He had charge of public 
buildings, controlled all popular entertain- 
ments, and also exercised certain police 
powers. The doors of his official residence 
were open day and night in order that he 
might always be ready, in theory at least, 
to serve the needs of the people. Occasionally 
our municipal representatives are called 
aediles. Aedileship (e' dil ship, n.) is the 
office of an aedile. 

L. aedilis, from aedes' house, suflix -His (con- 
nected with) . 

aegis (e" jis), n. A shield or breast- 
plate ; anything which shields or protects. 
(F. tgide.) 

Zeus, the chief god of the Greeks, or 
Jupiter, as he was known to the Romans, is 
said to have had a shield which one day he 




covered with the skin of Amalthaea, the goat 
which had been his foster-mother. This 
shield, known as aegis, he afterwards pre- 
sented to Pallas Athena (or Minerva), the 
goddess of war and peace, and the patroness 
of every branch of science and art. On the 
aegis she nailed the head of the Gorgon 
Medusa, which turned into stone all who 
Jooked upon it. 

The original meaning of aegis may have 
been "goat skin"; then it was used to 
denote a shield and even a breastplate; 
to-day it means anything which acts as a 
shield or protection, so that to be. under the 
aegis of anyone is to be under his or her pro- 

Gr. L. aegis goat-skin, or Gr. aissein to rush, 
with reference to the storm-cloud. \ 

Aeneid (e ' ne id), n. The great Latin 
epic poem by Virgil. . (F. eneide.) 

Virgil, the greatest of Roman poets, was 
determined to trace the descent of the 
Emperor Augustus (31 B.C. : A.D. 14) from 
the ancient heroes. Accordingly, in the 
" Aeneid " he relates how Aeneas, when Troy 
had been captured by the Greeks, fled from 
the burning town. After many adventures he 
landed in Italy at the mouth of the Tiber, 
where he married the king's daughter. It 
was his descendants. Romulus and Remus, 
who founded. Rome, .and who were the first 
of the mighty rulers, of whom, says the poet, 
Augustus was the greatest. 

Aeolian (e 5' li-an), adj. Of or belonging 
to Aeolia or Ajeolis, r an ancient district of 
Asia Minor. ; (F. eolien.) 

In music the word, indicates an old- 
fashioned form of Church music called a 
" mode " or " key."- There are twelve 
modes, the Aeolian mode being the most 
melancholy in tone. ' Aeolus was god of the 

Aeolian harp. An instrument which produces musical 
sounds when the wind passes over the strings. 

winds, whose home was supposed to be one 
of the Lipari islands called Aeolia, off the 
north coast of Sicily. The wind singing 
through telegraph wires makes what is 
styled Aeolian music, and an Aeolian harp 

is an instrument which produces musical 
sounds when the wind passes over the strings. 
L. Aeolius, from (i) Aeolia or Aeolis, and (2) 

aeolic (e ol' ik), adj. Of or belonging to 
Aeolia or Aeolis. (F. eolique.) 

Although we can speak of the Aeolic race, 
and of an Aeolic colony, the name is specially 
applied to one of the three chief dialects of 
the Greek language (Aeolic, Doric, Ionic). 

aeon (e' on), n. An age or era ; an im- 
measurable period of time ; eternity ; a 
being issuing from the Supreme Being. (F. 
periode, eternite,\ eon.) 

Aeon (aion) is a Greek word meaning an 
age or an indefinitely long period of time ; 
it is also used in the sense of eternity. A sect 
of people in early Christian days called 
Gnostics used the term aeons for eternal 
beings which they maintained issued from 
the Supreme Being (God) and had a share 
in creating and governing the universe. 

Tennyson, in " In Memoriam," refers to 
hills as aeonian (e 6' ni an, adj.), meaning 
everlasting or eternal. 

Gr. aion, L. aevntn. 

Aepyornis. The huge egg of this great bird which once 
lived in Madagascar, compared with that of a hen. 

aepyornis (e pi or' nis), n. A huge bird, 
now extinct, which lived in Madagascar. 
(F. aepyornis.) 

The largest eggs ever seen were laid by 
this gigantic ostrich-like bird ; they were 
about 12 inches long and 9 inches across. 
Fossil remains of the bird show that it was 
about 14 feet high, or twice the height of an 

Gr. aipys tall, ornis bird. 

aerate (a ' er at,) v.t. To charge with 
air or carbonic acid gas. (F. aerer.) 

The commonest example of aeration (a er 
a' shun, n.) is the production of soda water, 
often called aerated (a er a' ted, part, adj.) 




water. Carbonic acid gas is pumped into 
water under pressure by an aerator (a er ' a 
tor, n.) and dissolved. The fizziness is due to 
the escape of this imprisoned gas. 

Gr. L. aer air, and -ate (from p.p. L. -atus], 

aerenchyma (a er cng' Id ma), n. Plant 
tissue containing numerous air spaces. 

The stems of many marsh and water 
plants, such as the arrowhead and the water 
lily, contain many air spaces, which not only 
supply the thin-walled cells with air, but 
render the plants very light and buoyant. 
Such a mass of cells and air-spaces is called 
aerenchyma, or aerated tissue. 

Gr. aer air, en in, khyma something poured 
(from khein to pour). 

aerial [i] (a Gr' i al), adj. Belonging to 
the air ; living, growing, or happening in the 
air ; rising aloft in the air ; light as air. 
(F. aerien.) 

Winds are aerial currents ; mistletoe is an 
aerial plant, since its roots are high in the air 
in the branches of trees ; a balloon makes 
aerial voyages ; a swallow lives an aerial 
life. The method of making objects in the 
background of a picture appear more distant 
than those in the foreground by giving them 
softer colours and less distinct outlines is 
called aerial perspective (a er' i al per spek' 
tiv, n.). 

Aerial. The mistletoe is one ot the plants tor wiucn 

this term is used, because its roots are in the 

branches of trees and therefore aerial. 

An aerial railway (n.) is a rail supported at 
a distance from the ground, so that carriages 
running on it may hang in the air. There is 
an aerial railway between Elberfeld and 
Vohwinkel, in Germany. It has two tracks, 
is eight and a quarter miles long, and for 
part of its length runs over a river. 

An aerial ropeway (n.) or aerial cableway 
(.) is a strong steel cable supported at its 
ends only, or at points in between also, to 
carry loads across valleys, rivers, and rough 
country. The loads may be moved by the 
carrying rope itself, or may run along the rope, 
in which case a separate hauling rope is used. 

The longest ropeway in the world is in 
Argentina. During its course of 2i| miles 
it rises 12,500 feet. Some of the towers 
carrying it are over 140 feet high, and some 
of the spans over half a mile long. .. 

The Zugspitze aerial ropeway, which 
climbs to the summit of the mountain in the 

Aerial ropeway. Ihe passenger car which takes 

tourists to and from the summit of the Zugspitze, 

the highest point of the Bavarian Alps. 

Bavarian Alps after which it is named, travels 
to a height of 9,720 feet. Previous to its 
opening in 1926 those who wished to make 
the ascent took ten or eleven hours to do so, 
and the journey was by no means easy. 
There are various stations along ths route. 

Cableways are very useful in bridge build- 
ing. Before work could be begun on the 
bridge spanning the Zambezi gorge near the 
Victoria Falls, a cableway had to be put up 
to carry materials. A cord was shot across 
with a rocket, and this drew over a small steel 
rope. . The engineer 'in charge then made the 
first journey, swinging 400 feet above the 
boiling torrent below. 

At last a cable able to bear a strain of 275 
tons was stretched between high towers on 
either side of the gorge, and over this passed 
more than 100,000 tons of steel and other 

L. aerius aerial, from Gr. L. aer air. 



aerial [2] (a er' i al), n. A wire or wires 
for sending out or catching the waves used 
in wireless telegraphy and telephony. (F. 
ftl atrien.) 

An ordinary aerial has one end high in the 
air and the other connected with the sending 
or receiving apparatus. A frame aerial is a 

Aerial. The aerial and steel masts of one of the 
stations of the British Broadcasting Corporation. 

large, flat coil of wire wound on a frame which 
can be turned to point in any direction. 
Both ends of the coil are joined to the instru- 
ment. A frame aerial sends and receives 
signals most strongly edgeways. 

1.. aer ins, from Gr. L. aer air. 

aerie (ar'i), n. The nest of a bird of prey, 
especially of an eagle ; .its young. Other 
spellings are aery, (ar'i), eyrie, (I'ri), and 
eyry (T ri). (F. aire.) 

Formerly it was often stated in books that 
such birds of prey as golden eagles and pere- 
grine falcons built their aeries on a ledge of 
some inaccessible cliff. Modern naturalists., 
however, have often taken photographs of 
such aeries. The usual spelling nowadays is 
aerie, although Shakespeare spelt it aiery. 
The word is also used to describe a house 
built high up on a hill or rock. 

L. area open space, the spelling perhaps being 
influenced by a fancied connexion with L. aerius 

aeriform (a/ er i form), adj. Having the 
nature of air or other gas or being gaseous. 
(F. aeriforme.) 

Gr. L. aer air, L. forma form. 

aero- (a/ er 6). A prefix meaning having 
to do with the air ; it is used particular!}' 
of man's flying. It occurs in such w r ords as 
aerodrome, aeronaut, and aeroplane. 

Gr. L. aer air. 

aerobatics (a er 6 bat' iks), n. Acro- 
batics in the. air. (F. aerobatique.) 

Certain feats with an aeroplane which are 
part of the training of every military airman, 
such as looping the loop, the " falling leaf," 
and the half-roll, are known as aerobatics. 
The first man to carry out aerobatics was 
M. Pegoud, a French airman, who used to go 
up in an aeroplane, jump off with a para- 
chute, and leave the machine to look 
after itself. 

The story goes that one day M. Bleriot, the 
man who first flew the English Channel, 
noticed that the aeroplane turned head over 
heels several times and landed right way up, 
undamaged. " If the aeroplane can do that 
by itself," he said to Pegoud, " it ought to do 
it better still if you are in it." Pegoud took 
the hint and was soon giving the first show 
of aerobatics by looping the loop. 

Gr. aer air, batein to walk, tread, ultimately 
from bainein to go. 

aerobomb (a' er 6 bom), n. A bomb for 
dropping from aircraft. (F. lance-bombe.) 

An aerobomb is shaped like a torpedo, and 
has vanes at the tail end. These enable it to 
remain nose downwards as it falls. They 
also make it spin and set free a safety-pin, 
which, when the bomb strikes, allows another 
pin to move and explode the bomb. The 

Aerobomb. It is shown in position beneath the 

aeroplane. The vanes at the tail end keep it 

upright when released. 

bomb has inside it a charge of explosive, or 
of some lire-making material, or of poisonous 
gas. The largest bombs yet made weigh 
about two tons. One of them would wreck a 
battleship if it hit it. 
E. aero- and bomb. 




aero -camera (a/ er 6 kam er a), n. A 

special kind of camera carried on aircraft for 
taking photographs from the air of country, 
scenes, or buildings. (F. chambre ae'rienne.) 

During the World War aero-cameras were 
very useful for mapping country held by the 
enemy. In peace they are used for making 
surveys. They are fitted with devices which 
expose films at equal spaces of time and 
number them so that the prints made from 
them may be joined together in their proper 

E. aero- and camera. 

aerodart (a/ er 6 dart), n. A small steel 
arrow dropped from aircraft on the enemy 
in war. 

The use of these darts was soon given up, 
as they could not be aimed, and very seldom 
hit an enemy. 

E. aero- and dart. 

aerodrome (a/ er 6 drom), n. A large, 
level, open space of prepared ground where 
aircraft start and land. (F. aerodrome.) 

A large aercdrome has round it, besides 
many sheds for housing aeroplanes, workshops 
in which repairs can be done, waiting-rooms, 
offices, and a wireless station for signalling 
to pilots of aircraft. At night the landing- 
places are marked out by electric lights 
placed under sheets of thick glass, sunk 
level with the ground ; and a lighthouse sends 
out a strong beam to guide the airmen. At 
Croydon, Le Bourget (near Paris), Brussels, 
Dubendorf (near Cologne), Basel (Switzer- 
land), and at other aerodromes where air- 
craft from other countries land, there is a 
custom-house where duties on goods brought 
in have to be paid. Such aerodromes are 
called airports. 

See hippodrome. Gr. aer air, dromos running, 

aerodynamics (a er 6 di nam' iks), tt. 
The science which treats of the behaviour 
of air and other gases when pressed upon or 
pressing on something else. (F. aerodyna- 

A study of aerodynamics helps people to 
answer questions such as these : What is the 
best form of sail for a windmill ? What 
is the best curve for an aeroplane's wing? 
Does a two-bladed airscrew push as hard as 
a four-bladed ? How should an airship be 
shaped to pass through the air with the 
greatest ease ? 

E. aero- and dynamics. 

aerodyne (a' er 6 din), n, A heavier- 
than-air flying machine. See aeroplane. 

E. aero- and dyne, from Gr. dyn-amis power. 

aero-engine (a' er 6 en jin), n. An engine 
used to drive an airship or aeroplane. (F. 
machine aerienne.) 

It is very lightly, but strongly, built, and 
gives one horse-power for every i to 3 Ib. 
of its weight. The largest engine yet made 
weighs not much more than a ton, but has as 

much power as a large railway engine. The 
cylinders of an engine may be in line, like 
those of a motor-car, and be cooled by water ; 
or they may stick out from the centre part, 
like spokes of a wheel, and be kept cool by 
the air. Aero-engines run on petrol. 

To find out how long an engine could work 
without having any part changed, one was 
sealed up and fitted to an aeroplane, which it 

Aero-engine. Commander R. E. Byrd, attending to 

one of the three aero-engines of the monoplane in 

which he flew to the North Pole in 1926. 

drove for 25,000 miles a distance equal to 
that of a flight right round the earth. It was 
then taken to pieces and found to be in very 
good order. 

E. aero- and engine. 

aerofoil (a/ er 6 foil), n. A curved 
surface, such as the wing of a bird, or the 
planes and tail of an aeroplane, which holds 




Aeronautics. The progress made in the science and art of handling aircraft as shown by a modern Blackburne 
Napier torpedo-carrying aeroplane, and (inset) the steam driven flying machine made by Clement Ader, a 

Frenchman, in 1890. 

something up in the air when forced through 
the air edgeways. (F. aile.) 

The second element of the word means 
" leaf " (F. feuille, L. folium). 

aerogram (a/ er 6 gram), n. A message 
sent by wireless telegraphy ; a marconigram. 
(F. depeche par la telegraph ie sans fil.) 

E. aero- and Gr. gramma literally, something 

aerolite (a/ er 6 lit), n. A stone which 
apparently falls from the air, but which 
really passes through the air from space 
beyond. (F. aerolithe.) 

The term aerolite is often used with the 
same meaning as meteorite, but it is best 
applied to that variety of meteorite which 
consists of stony or other material containing 
no iron. Another form of the word is 
aerolith (a/ er 6 lith). Some aerolithic (a er 
6 lith' ik, adj.) stones which have reached the 
earth have been objects of worship. 

E. aero- and Gr. lithos stone. 

aerometer (a er om' e ter), . A device 
for finding the weight of air and other gases. 
(F. aerometre.) 

E. aero- and Gr. metron measure. 

aero-motor (a/ er 6 mo tor), n. A motor 
used on aircraft. (F. moteur pour I' aviation.) 
See aero-engine. 

E. aero- and motor. 

aeronaut (a/ er 6 nawt), n. One who 
pilots or goes up in a balloon, airship, or 
aeroplane ; an aviator. (F. aeronante.) 

The first aeronaut was a Frenchman, 
Francois Pilatre des Roziers, w r ho went up 
from Paris in a big fire-balloon in the year 
1783, taking one passenger with him. When 
he was starting for his second ascent four 
men jumped into the car of the balloon, 
drew their swords, and, after daring anyone 

to try to pull them out, cut the ropes holding 
the balloon. Their aeronautical (a er 6 iiaw' 
tik al, adj.) voyage made them the heroes 
of the hour, and the Paris crowds cheered 
them as loudly as, a hundred and forty-four 
years later, they cheered Colonel Lindbergh 
after his flight from New York to Paris. 

The science and art of handling balloons 
and other aircraft is aeronautics (a er 6 naw' 
tiks, n.). In the early days of aeronautics 
the people of Paris scarcely talked about 
anything else, for they believed that balloons 
could carry them anywhere, even to the 
moon. Some folk who had never seen a 
balloon go up would not believe that one 
could rise, and among them was a nobleman 
eighty-three years of age. When he saw the 
first gas-balloon sailing through the air, he 
fell on his knees and, with tears running 
down his face, cried : " Yes ! It is a fact ! 
Men will find out even how to conquer death ; 
but alas, not till I myself am dead !." 

When this balloon landed out in the 
country, the peasants, thinking it some awful 
monster from the skies/ fell upon it with 
pitchf orks, stones and scythes, and tore it. 
to pieces. See aviator. 

E. aero- and Gr. nautes, L. nauta sailor. 

aerophyte (a' er 6 fit), n. An air-plant. 
(F. aerophyte.) 

In the shady forests of Africa, Asia, and 
America, where it is very hot and moist, there 
are plants whose roots never touch the soil. 
These are air-plants or aerophytes. Th ex- 
hang from the branches of the trees, drawing 
their life from the decaying parts of the bark, 
and from the air. Many xvonderful orchids 
and some lichens are air-plants. 

E. aero- arid Gr. phyton plant. 





The Amazing Success of Fly ing -machines that are Heavier than Air ' 

aeroplane (a/ er 6 plan), n. A heavier- 
than-air flying-machine with fixed wings. 
(F. aeroplane, avion.} 

There are various kinds of aeroplanes. A 
machine with wheels under it which make it 
able to start from and alight on land is called 
a land aeroplane. A seaplane has a body 
like that of a land aeroplane, but has floats 
instead of wheels, so that it may rise from 
water. A flying-boat has a boat-shaped body 
which rests on the water. An amphibian is 
an aeroplane which can rise from or alight on 
either water or land. An aeroplane which 
has its airscrew in front of the wings is called 
a tractor aeroplane ; in a pusher aeroplane 
the air-screw is behind the planes. A mono- 
plane has one tier of wings ; a biplane, two 
tiers ; a triplane, three tiers. Some mono- 
planes are built almost entirely of metal. 

The first flight made with an aeroplane is 
held to be that of Clement Ader, a Frenchman, 
on October nth, 1890, when he flew 150 feet 
in a machine driven by a steam-engine and 
having wings like those of a bird. The first 
flights with a straight-winged aeroplane using 
a petrol motor took place in December, 1903, 
at Kitty Hawk, in North Carolina. They were 
made by the brothers Orville and Wilbur 
Wright in a machine that had to be started 
by being drawn along a rail by a falling 

weight, as it had no wheels. For a long time 
people in Europe would not believe that the 
Wrights had flown, though their flights had 
been seen by many persons in America. In 
1907 the Wrights went to France and showed 
what they could do by flying 97 miles without 

Rivals of the Wrights mounted their 
aeroplanes on wheels, to make starting and 
landing possible on any flat open space. 
Later on the aeroplane's body was covered 
over, except for the pilot's cockpit, so that 
it should move with greater ease through 
the air. 

The World War led to a rapid increase in 
the power and speed of aeroplanes, as each 
side did its utmost to bring out faster mach- 
ines than the other. At the beginning of the 
War Britain had only a dozen or two very 
slow aeroplanes, hardly fit for fighting. 
When peace was declared she had over 5,000 
in the field, besides many thousands in 
reserve. They ranged from the small one-man 
" scout," able to fly at 160 miles an hour, to 
the huge bomber with its load of two tons of 
bombs, and to the yet larger flying-boat, 
130 feet across, carrying a small aeroplane on 
its back. 

Since the World War most attention has 
been given to the aeroplane for taking mails 

Screw _ 












to Engine Bay 

This part of Fuselage 
contains watertight 
bags for floatation 


A picture diagram of the principal parts of a modern aeroplane. The first commercial 
passenger-plane flew from Hounslow to Paris on August 25th, 1919. 



Aeroplane. A Bristol triplane Pullman about to start on its journey " up above the world so high." 
The small picture shows the comfortable saloon for passengers. 

Aeroplane. Loading a cross-Channel aeroplane. Before 1924 there were several British air-lines. 
in March of that year they were merged into Imperial Airways, Ltd., which operates daily over 1,200 
miles of routes between London and the Continent, and has a weekly service between Cairo and Basra. 




Aeroplane. A fighting biplane attached to an airship before being launched in mid-air. The pilot 
gets into his machine by means of the little trap-door immediately above the upper main plane. 

and passengers, such as 
is used on airways. A 
big " liner," driven by 
two, three, or four 
engines, has a cosy 
covered-in cabin with 
large windows through 
which the dozen or more 
passengers, seated in 
their armchairs, can 
watch the scene below. 
Behind the cabin is the 
baggage-room ; in front 
of it is the pilot's cock- 
pit, which contains a 
wireless set, with which 
the pilot can speak to 
stations on the ground, 
and many control instru- 

11 may be thought 
than an aeroplane is 
always trying to upset, 
and must be difficult- to 
balance. But this is by 
no means the case. 
During the World War a 
British aeroplane, whose 
pilot had been killed, flew 
by itself more than TOO 
miles and then landed 

The aeroplane has 
conquered the air. It has 
climbed skyward 40,000 
feet, moved at speeds up 
to 300 miles an hour, and 
kept aloft for as many as 
fifty hours. 

E. aero- and plane, from 
L. plamnn level surface. 

Aeroplane. Immediately after the launch. 
The biplane dropping away from the airship. 


aerostat (a' er 6 stat), 
u. A machine that sup- 
ports itself in the air ; 
a balloon, or an airship, 
as distinct from a 
heavier-than-air flying- 
machine, as an aeroplane. 
(F. aerostat.) 

The first man-carrying 
aerostat was the fire- 
balloon which ascended 
at Paris on November 
aist, 1783. Aerostatics 
(a er 6 stat' iks, .) is the 
science which deals with 
the reasons for bodies 
being supported in gases. 
The word is used most 
often when speaking of 
balloons. Aerostation 
(a er 6 sta' shun, .) 
means the art of hand- 
ling balloons in the air. 

E. aero- and Gr. statos 
placed, made, to stand. 

aery (a/ er i), adj. 
Visionary; ethereal ; not 
substantial. ' (F. 
visionnaire, imaginairc.) 
.Milton, in " Comus," 
talks of '' aery tongues " 
not real but visionary. 

L. aerius in the air. 
SYN. : Ethereal, incor- 
poreal, spiritual, unreal, 
visionary. ANT. : Bodily, 
corporeal, fleshly, physical, 

aery (a/ er i). Another 
spelling of aerie. See 



Aesculapius (es ku la' pi us), n. The 
Roman name for the Greek god of medicine, 
Asclepios ; a doctor. (F. Esculape.) 

So skilful was Aesculapius in the art of 
healing that Zeus, the chief of the gods, 
fearing that he might make mankind im- 
mortal, killed him with a thunderbolt. After 
his death marvellous cures were effected at 
his most famous shrine, at Epidaurus, on the 
Saronic Gulf. His symbol was a staff with 
a snake (the emblem of renewing) twined 
round it. Anything to do with Aesculapius 
or with the art of healing may be described 
as Aesculapian (es ku la' pi an, adj.). 

aesthete (es' thet), n. An appreciator 
of the beautiful in art or nature ; a lover of 
beauty. (F. estheticien.) 

The aesthete has a keen eye for the beau- 
tiful in nature or art, and would have only 
beautiful things everywhere. Sometimes 
such a person lays so much emphasis on the 
value of beauty that he appears ridiculous 
to others. When we regard something from 
the standpoint of the beautiful, our point of 
view is said to be aesthetic (es thet' ik, adj.}. 
Aesthetical (es thet' ik al, adj.) or 
aesthetic studies relate to the science of 
beautiful things a science known as 
aesthetics (es thet' iks, n.), while anything 
performed in a way which has regard for 
the beautiful is aesthetically (es thet' ik al 
li, adv.) done. Devotion to the study of 
aesthetics is known as aestheticism (es thet' 
is izm, n.). John Ruskin spent his life 
trying to bring home to people the love of 
beauty in buildings, paintings, manners, and 

Gr. aisthetikos keenly perceptive, from 
aisthesthai to perceive. 

Aestivation. A section of the bud of the yellow 
water lily, showing how the interior is arranged. 

aestivate (es' ti vat ; es' ti vat), v.i. To 
spend the summer. (F. passer I'ete.) 

The word is also used to describe the habit 
of certain animals spending the summer, or 
dry season, in slumber. While the alligators 
of North America bury themselves in the mud 

in winter, those of Brazil display a similar 
habit in the hottest and driest part of the 
year. This is called aestivation (es ti va' 
shun, n.). In botany, aestivation describes 
the way the interior of a bud is folded or 
arranged before the petals open in summer. 
L. aestibus summerlike, from aestas summer. 

aether (e'ther). This is another spelling 
of ether. See etlier. 

aetiology (e ti ol' 6 ji), n. The science 
or philosophy of causes, especially of the 
origins of diseases. (F. etiologie.) 

There can be no effect without a cause, al- 
though the effect may be material and visible, 
the cause spiritual and invisible. For exam- 
ple, the spinning earth on which we live is 
only an effect ; the cause was the great Mind 
which planned and created it, whom we call 
God. The World War (1914-18) was a terrible 
effect arising from an apparently small and 
remote cause the assassination of a man at 

What causes the dreadful scourge of con- 
sumption ? A tiny microbe or germ, so small 
that it cannot be seen without the help of a 
powerful microscope and then sometimes 
escapes the lens. Thus we see that great 
effects sometimes arise from small causes, or 
the exact opposite may be the case. Men of 
science, when they note some strange or un- 
usual effect, at once deal with its aetiology, 
and seek to find out the cause. 

Anything to do with the science of causes 
is called aetiological (et i 6 loj' ik al, adj.) ; 
and we say that a man studies a subject 
aetiologically (et i 6 loj ' ik al li, adv.), meaning 
that he tries to discover the cause or causes 
from which the effect arises. 

Gr. aitiologia, from aitia cause, logos discourse, 
science (legein to speak). 

afar .(a far'), adv. A long way off. (F. 
de loin.) 

The word not only means in a distant 
place, but also expresses distance to or from 
a place. If you go to Australia you travel 
afar, and your friends at home are afar off. 

E. a- =on, A.-S. feor, M.TL. fer. See far. 

affable (af ' abl), adj. Courteous, pleasant. 
(F. affable.) 

The Sixth Form boy who encourages the 
new boy to step up and talk with him is 
affable. The King, when he visits a big 
factory, talks affably (af ' a bli, adv.) with the 
foreman, who goes home and tells his wife 
of his Sovereign's affability (af a bil' i ti, n.) 
or affableness (af abl nes, n.) 

L. affabilis easy to talk to, from ad to, fari 
to speak. SYN. : Accessible, condescending, 
familiar, gracious, unreserved. ANT. : Distant, 
forbidding, haughty, inaccessible, unapproach- 

affair (a far'), n. A thing to be done ; a 
concern ; a matter. (F. affaire.) 

This word is used of many things. Among 
special senses, a duel is an affair of honour. 




and a military engagement, however im- 
portant to those, who took part in it, may 
go down in history as merely an affair of 
outposts. In the plural, the word means 
business, either public or private. The 
statesman and the merchant are both men 
of affairs, and the affairs of the man who 
neglects his work are apt to fall into disorder. 

O.F. a faire anything to do, be done ; L. ad to, 
facere to do. SYN. : Business, event, incident, 
matter, skirmish. ANT. : Detail, item. 

affect (a fekt'), v.t. To assume or tend 
to assume ; to pretend ; to have a liking 
for ; to act upon ; to impress. (F. affecter. 

The criminal flying 
from justice m a y 
affect a disguise. A 
man may affect to 
know something of 
which he is ignorant. 
A ghost in a story 
may affect or take the 
form of a horse. A 
man of learning may 
affect a peculiar 
costume. An appear- 
ance Q r manner 
adopted as a pretence 
is called an affectation 
(af fek ta' shun, n.), 
while anyone acting 
in this unnatural way 
in order to impress 
someone else is said to 
be affected (af fekt' 
i'd, adj.) or to be act- 
ing affectedly (af fekt' 
cd li, adv.) or with 
affectedness (af fekt' 
ed nes, .). 

In an altogether 
different sense the 
word affect may mean 
to attack ; to touch or 
move ; to have an 
effect on ; to act upon. 
A cold may affect your 
throat and consequently your voice. The 
sight of a child or an animal in pain affects 
the mind. A memory or a scene that brings 
tears to our eyes is affecting (af fekt' ing, 
adj.) and acts affectingly (af fekt' ing li, adv.) 
on your emotions. 

L. affectare to have an effect upon, frequentative 
of afficere, from af- ad to, facere to do (p.p. 
affectus). SYN. : Assume, crave, influence, 
pretend, touch. ANT. : Dislike, repel, shun, 

affection (a fek' shun), n. Attachment; 
love ; an illness. (F. affection, nialadie.) 

The affection a man has for his country 
will inspire him to perform brave deeds. A 
patient may suffer from an affection of the 
spine. Anything relating to the affections, 
or having affections, is said to be affectional 
(a fek' shun al, adj.), or, if it is emotional, 
affective (a fekt'^iv, adj.). Because they are 

Affection. Mother love was never more beautifully 

depicted than in this portrait by Madame Vigee- 

Lebrun of herself and daughter. 

fond of home and love their owners, cats are 
said to be affectionate (a fek' shun at, adj.). 
Relatives and close friends write and talk to 
one another affectionately (a fek' shun at li, 
adv.), and show affectionateness (a fek' shun 
at nes, n.). 

See affect. SYN. : Ailment, devotion, fond- 
ness, passion, quality. ANT. : Disaffection, 
hate, indifference, repulsion. 

afferent (af fer ent), adj. Conducting 
inwards or towards. (F. afferent.) 

The brain receives and gives out messages 
through the nerves. Those nerves that carry 
messages to the brain are called afferent 

L. afferre, to carry to, 
from af- =ad to, fcrre to 

affettuoso (a fet tu 
6' so), adv. With 
feeling. (F. affectueusc- 

A musical term in- 
dicating that the 
passage is to be played 
tenderly or softly. 

Ital. from L. affectare. 

affiance (a fi'ans), 
n. Faith ; trust ; a 
promise to marry, v.t. 
To promise in mar- 
riage. (F. fianfailles.) 
The pledging of 
one's word of faith 
in marriage is affiance. 
Couples who are en- 
gaged may be des- 
cribed as affianced (a 
fl' ansd, part. adj.). 

In the British Isles 
an engagement is 
announced with little 
ceremony. Sometimes 
a notice will appear 
in the newspapers, but 
more often than not 
the only sign given 
to the outside world is the wearing of a ring 
on the third finger of the left hand of the 
bride-to-be. Gifts are usually exchanged, 
and formerly a coin was often broken in two, 
each party taking half. The couple also 
pledged each other in a cup of wine, as the 
Jews and Russians do still. On the Continent 
the pair usually plight their troth before wit- 
nesses, and in many countries the affianced 
woman is distinguished by some peculi- 
arity of dress. Some countries have other 
customs. One of the most curious occurs in 
Czecho-Slovakia, where a young man who 
comes from a good family is expected to walk 
about in a wonderfully embroidered apron, 
presented to him by the lady he has promised 
to marry. 

O.F. afiance, L.L. fidare to trust, pledge, L. 
fidere from fides faith, troth. SYN. : Betrothal, 
confidence, faith, homage, trust. ANT. : Dis- 
loyalty, distrust, suspicion. 




affiche (af fesh'), n. A poster or placard . 
(F. affiche.} 

A paper of any kind that is posted up for 
people to read is an affiche. 

F. a to, ficher to nail, fasten ; Ital. afficcare, 
ultimately from L. affigere to affix. 

affidavit (af fi da' vit), n. A statement 
in writing, declared on oath to be true. 
(F. declaration sous serment.) 

It may happen that a firm which has 
adopted a well-known name or trade-mark 
for its goods, applies to a High Court judge 
to make an order preventing a rival firm from 
selling the same kind of article under a 
similar name. In such a case the judge 
would not always require the persons giving 
evidence to attend the court but would take 
their statements in the form of an affidavit. 

It might also happen that a witness was 
unable to attend owing to illness or absence 
abroad and his evidence would be laid before 
the judge in a similar way. 

L.L. affidavit, he has declared on oath. See 

affiliate (a fil' i at), v.t. To adopt (as a 
son) ; to connect (with) ; to attach (to). 
(F. adopter, affilier.) 

A society affiliates persons as members ; it 
may also affiliate smaller societies as branches. 
A lawn tennis club which can be attached 
to the Lawn Tennis Association is affiliable 
(a fil' i abl, adj.], and the act of its adoption 
as a member of the Association is affiliation 
(a fil' i a shun, n.}. 

L.L. p.p. of affiliare, from af- =ad to, filius 
son. SYN. : Adopt, associate, connect. ANT. : 
Disjoin, separate, sever. 

affined (a find'), adj. Connected ; related. 
(F. allie.) 

Persons who are related to one another by 
marriage and people bound together by some 
common tie are affined. Brothers and sisters 
are related (by blood) but a wife is affined to 
her husband and his relations. 

affinity (a fin'i ti), n. Relationship through 
marriage ; kinship ; liking. (F. affinite.) 

This word describes the kind of relationship 
existing between husband and wife, that is, 
secured through marriage. We may also 
speak of someone having a natural affinity, 
or liking, for painting or carpentry. Two 
cricketers may be joined in affinity through 
their love of the game. In chemistry, the 
property of attraction by which elements 
unite to form a new compound is called 

L. affinitas, from affinis bordering on, from 
af- =ad to, finis end, border. SYN. : Attrac- 
tion, kin, likeness, relationship, resemblance, 
sympathy. ANT. : Antagonism, antipathy, 

affirm (a ferm'), v.t. To assert ; to con- 
firm, v.i. To make a solemn declaration. 
(F. affirmer.} 

Something more than to make a statement 
is meant by affirm. The headmaster says 
that school will start a week earlier than 

usual, but the Prime Minister affirms that 
whatever happens Great Britain will keep 
her word. A statement agreeing with 
another one is said to be affirmative (a ferm' 
a tiv, adj.], and to say " Yes " is to answer 
in the affirmative or affirmatively (a ferm' 
a tiv li, adv.}. 

In law affirm means to make a solemn 
declaration. Some people think it wrong to 
take an oath. They therefore make what is 
known as an affirmation (af fer ma/ shun, n.) 
and their statement is said to be affirmable 
(a ferm' abl, adj.). The confirmation of a 
decision given by a judge is called an affirm- 
ance (a ferm' ans, n.). 

L. affirmare, from af- =ad to, fir mare to make 
strong (firmus). SYN.: Allege, assert, confirm, de- 
clare. ANT. : Contradict, deny, dispute, negative. 

Affix. The last item in the dressing of a diver 
is the affixing of the helmet. 

affix (a fiks', v. ; af ' fiks, n.), v.t. To 
fasten ; to attach ; to add to. n. An addition. 
(F. apposer, attacker, ajouter ; affixe.} 

You may affix a lock to the lid of your 
desk, or affix a postage stamp to an envelope. 
You may be requested to affix your signature 
to your season-ticket. Anything that is 
added or appended may be referred to as 
an affix, but the term is specially applied 
to a word or syllable added to the beginning 
(a prefix) or end (a suffix), of another word 
such as re-address, help//. The act of 
fastening a lock on a door may bs called an 
affixture (af files' tur, n.}. 

L. affigere, from af- ad to, on.figere to fix (p.p. 
affixus). SYX. : Append, attach, fasten, join. 
ANT. : Detach, remove, separate, unfasten. 




afflatus (a fla' tiis), n. Inspiration ; 
poetic impulse. (F. inspiration.) 

Inspiration, or poetic impulse, is the feeling 
or state of mind which causes a poet or an 
orator to pour out an eloquent stream of 
written or spoken words. For example, 
Shelley was in a state of afflatus when lie 
wrote his beautiful " Ode to a Skylark " ; 
he could not have written it 
otherwise. This figurative Latin 
term, like " inspiration," literally 
means that the person to whom 
it is applied is breathed upon 
by a god or other supernatural 

L. afflatus, p.p. of afflare, from 
af- =ad to, on, flare to blow. 

afflict (a flikt'), r.t. To 
trouble ; to impose pain on. 
(F. affliger.) 

A plague afflicts a country 
because of the suffering and 
misery it causes. The misery 
endured by the inhabitants of 
the country is an affliction (a 
flik'shun, n.) and the inhabitants 
can be described as afflicted (a 
flikt' ed, adj.) people. Any- 
thing causing distress or bring- 
ing about a calamity is referred 
to as afflictive (a flik' tiv, adj.) or 
afflicting (a flikt' ing, adj.), and 
may be said to act afflictively 
(a flik' tiv li, adv.) or afflictingly 
(a flikt ' ing li, adv.). 

L. affligerc, from, af- ad, fligcve 
to strike, dash down (p.p. afflict us). 
SYN. : Distress, harro\v7 pain, 
plague, trouble. ANT. : Bless, con- 
sole, gladden, please. 

affluent (af flu ent), adj. 
Flowing freely; wealthy. //. 
Tributary. (F. affluent; r/che.) 

Water pouring through a 
sluice-gate on a river is affluent. 
.Money, too, sometimes flows 
freely, and thus a man who is 
very rich can be described as 
affluent. Water runs affluently 
(c"f flu ent li, adv.) when you 
turn the tap full on. A million- 
aire is said to live in affluence 
(af flu ens, n.). 

The river Colne .is an affluent 
or a tributary of the Thames. 

L. affluere, from af- =ad to, fluere to How. 
SYN. : Plentiful, rich, wealthy. ANT. : Im- 
poverished, poor, scarce. 

afflux (af ' fluks), n. A flowing towards. 
(F. afflux, affluence.) 

Being suspended in the air with your head 
downwards, would cause an afflux of blood 
to your head. Before a storm we may 
notice an afflux of clouds on the horizon. 
When Colonel Lindbergh flew across the 
Atlantic there was an afflux of people in Paris 
to greet him. 

L. affluere, p.p. affliixus, from af- =ad to, 
fluere to flow. 

afford (a ford'), v.t. To be able to buy ; 
to provide. (F. avoir le moycn de, offrir.) 

You want a new pair of boots, but. unless 
you can spare the money you cannot' afford 
them. A hill affords a good view of the plains 

Affliction. As pictured by Walter Langley in his famous painting, 
"Men must work and women must weep." 

A.-S. geforthian, M.E. aforthen to further, 
furnish. SYN. : Bestow, contribute, offer, sup- 
ply. ANT. : Deny, grudge, stint, withhold. 

afforest (a for' est), v.t. To turn waste 
or other ground into forest. (F. convertit 
en foret.) 

Large tracts of ground were converted 
into forests by the early Norman kings in 
order to provide game preserves and grounds. 
Science, nowadays, devotes more time to pre- 
serving forests than to planting them, but 
if you should chance to visit the New Forest, 



Hampshire, or, more specially, the Black 
Forest, Germany, in spring-time, you would 
see nurseries where the seeds of a forest to be 
tended by another generation are being 
planted. So, in other parts of the globs, 
where you will find tree-felling in progress, 
you will often find tree-planting. 

The forest has proved one of man's most use- 
ful servants. Apart from providing him with 
the timber and fuel he so constantly needs, 
it preserves Mother Earth's moisture, keeps 
the temperature moderate by avoiding ex- 
tremes of heat and cold, and affects the 
humidity of the air. 

The work of converting waste land into 
forest is described as afforestation (a for es 
ta' shun, n.). 

L.L. afforestare, from af- =ad to, foresta forest. 
(F. foret.) 

affranchise (afran' chiz), v.t. To set at 
liberty. (F. affranchir .) 

For thousands of years previous to the nine- 
teenth century it had been the custom to 
make slaves of men, women, and children of 
conquered lands, and even of unfortunate 
people who could not pay their debts, and 
the world looked upon the slave trade as a 
necessary part of its commerce. In 1833 
Great Britain took the important step of 
passing a bill to set free all slaves in 
British colonies. 

The act of freeing men from bondage is 
referred to as affranchisement (a fran' chiz 
ment, .). 

O.F. afranchir, from a to, franchir to set free, 
from L.L. francus free. 

affray (a fra'), n. A noisy quarrel ; 
commotion, v.t. To frighten. (F. tumulte ; 

An affray is something more than ah 
ordinary quarrel or fight. Two boys might 
fight, but that would not be an affray. A 
fight or noisy squabbling in a public placs 
between the rival supporters of two football 
clubs would be an affray. 

Big battles have often been preceded by a 
skirmish between advance parties of the 
rival armies and an unimportant engagement 
of this sort would be called an affray. The 
word also means to scare or make afraid. 

O.F. effraier, to frighten, from L.L. exfridare (ex 
out, L.L. fridus, A.-S. frith peace, G. Frizde), 
lit. to "out-peace," break the peace. SYN. : 
Disturbance, feud, fight, quarrel, tumult. 
ANT. : Amity, friendship, peace. 

affright (a frit'), n. Terror ; alarm 
v.t. To frighten. (F. effroi.) 

The alarm we feel in seeing, for example, a 
child fall from a chair is affright ; so is the 
cause of our alarm. Anyone who was terri- 
fied would probably act affrightedly (a frit' 
ed li, adv.). 

A.-S. afyrhf, p.p. of afyrhtan to frighten, from 
a- (emphatic), fyrhtan, M.E. afright. SYN. : 
72. Dismay, horror, panic, v. Appal, daunt, 
terrify. ANT. : n. Assurance, encouragement, 
reassurance, v. Embolden, inspirit, reassure. 

affront (a frunt'), v.t. To offend deliber- 
ately ; to insult, n. An insult. (F. insulter.) 

To affront a person one faces him in a 
hostile and unfriendly manner. If, for in- 
stance, a man had his face slapped, he would 

AHorestation. Converting waste land into forest in Louisiana, United States, by afforestation. In this field 
of a little over three acres 7,000,000 pine seedlings have been planted. 




Afire, Aflame, Afloat. A cargo ship afire off Barbados, in the West Indies. Although aflame from stem to 
stern, the vessel remained afloat until she was completely destroyed. 

probably feel affronted and might declare 
that he had been offered a gross affront, or 
been grossly affronted. If we walked away 
while someone was talking to us it might 
be taken as a personal affront, and it might 
afterwards be said that we had acted 
affrontingly (a frunt'ing li, adv.). 

L.L. affrontare to confront, from af- =a>l to, 
Jrotis (ace. front-em) forehead, front. SYN. : 
v. Annoy, irritate, molest, n. Injury, insult, 
offence. ANT. : v. Conciliate, content, please. 
11. Compliment, homage, respect. 

affusion (a fu' zhun), n. A pouring on. 
(F. action de verser, affusion.) 
Affusion occurs when water i^ poured on a 
person's head during baptism. It is dis-, 
tinguished from immersion, an old manner 
of administering that sacrament. The word 
is also used as a medical term for trie 
treatment sometimes practised in cases of 
fever, consisting of pouring water (usually 
lukewarm) on the body of the patient. 

L. affundere, from, af- =ad to, on, fundere to 
pour, p.p. fttsus. 

afield (a feld'), adv. To, on, or in the 
field ; away from home. (F. au champ.) 

A football team goes afield to meet its 
opponents. If we take our holidays in, say, 
Italy we go far afield. 

E. a- =on, an 

afire (a.flr/), adv.. and adj.- On fire. (F. 
en feu.) 

This word is freely used in a figurative; 
as well as in its literal sense. A house that is. 
burning is said to be afire. The sight of the 
best batsman on your: side scoring many- 
runs sets you afire with enthusiasm. 

E. a- =on, and fire. SYN. : Ablaze, aflame, 
burning. ANT. : Extinguished, quenched. 

aflame (a flam'), adj. and adv. In 
flame. (F. enflamme.) 

This word has a similar meaning to afire. 
You can refer to a bonfire as being aflame 
when the flames burst through, and anyone 
who is in a great rage may be said to be 
aflame with passion. 

E. a- =on, and flame. SYN. : Ablaze, afire, 
burning. ANT. : Extinguished, quenched. 

afloat (a fldt'), adj. and adv. Floating. 
(F. a flot ; en circulation.) 

This word has several shades of meaning. 
A ship at sea or anything that is floating 
or in a floating condition is afloat. A seaman 
is afloat "when he is on the seas. When a storm 
causes waves to break over a ship, the decks 
are afloat. A man keeps himself afloat while 
he is' free from debt. When you hear of some 
tragic vent before it is announced in the 
newspapers, rumours are afloat. 

E. a- =on, and float. 

afoot (a fut'), adv. On foot ; on the 
move. (F. a pied, en train.) 

Walking to the spot chosen for a picnic, 
you travel afoot. When you hear a policeman 
blow his whistle you know that something 
out of the ordinary is happening or, in other 
words, that something is afoot. 

E. a- =on, and foot. 

afore (a for'), adv. Before. (F. en 

This word is not used alone now, but always 
in combination with other words, such as : 
aforementioned (a -for' men shund, adj.), 
mentioned before. Persons or things already 
mentioned 'once in, say, a letter or speech, 
may afterwards be referred to as the afore- 
mentioned. Aforenamed (a for' namd, adj.), 
meaning named before, and aforesaid 




(a for' sed, adj.), meaning stated previously, 
are used in the same way as aforementioned. 
Aforethought (a for' thawt, adj.) means 
thought out beforehand. A judge's view of 
a crime often depends on whether he is of 
opinion. that it was committed with malice 
aforethought, i.e. whether it was planned 
beforehand. Aforetime (a for' thn, adv.) 
means previously. As a noun it means time 

E. a- =on, A.-S. fore first, before ; A.-S. 
on for an. 

African. An African girl having her hair dressed 
by her mother. 

a fortiori (a for shi or' I), adv. With 
stronger reason. (F. a plus forte raison.) 

This is a term used to introduce a state- 
ment which must very obviously be true if 
one previously made is accepted as being 
true. A man could not save 50 in a certain 
time ; a fortiori he could not save ^200. 

L. a horn, fortiori (ratione) stronger (reason). 

afraid (a frad'), adj. Frightened. (F. 

Nelson was a very frail lad when he first 
went to sea. Before he had been afloat a 
week the Captain called him on deck and, 
pointing to the mast, ordered him aloft. 
Nelson hesitated and, noticing this, the 
Captain asked him if he was afraid. " Yes, 
sir," Nelson replied, " I am afraid, but I'm 
going to the top of the mast," and, his teeth 
chattering, he did as he was told. 

He remembered this incident in later 
years, and when he was given command of 
a ship, he ordered all the boys who had just 
joined to fall in on deck and then raced them 
to the top of the mast. 

The original form of the word was affrayed. 
See affray. SYN. : Anxious, fearful, frightened, 
timid. ANT. : Audacious, bold, fearless, venture- 

afreet (af fret), n. 
monster. (F. africt.) 

A demon or evil 

In th old tales of Mohammedan super- 
stition, an afreet was looked upon as some- 
thing hideous or terrible. Readers of the 
" Arabian Nights " will remember it. 
What shape it had we are not told, but we 
know that it was supposed to be very power- 
ful because Solomon was said to be the only 
man who had ever succeeded in taming the 
monster. Other spellings are Afrit and 
A f rite. 

The word is Arabic ('afrit) . 

afresh (a fresh'), adv. Again ; freshly. 
(F. de nouveau.) 

If you are doing a difficult sum and cannot 
get it right you may decide to begin it all 
over again, or start afresh. A boxer comes 
up afresh for the fight after receiving the 
attentions of his seconds at the end of the 

E. a- =on, and fresh. 

African (af ri kan), adj. Belonging to or 
relating to Africa, n. A native of Africa or 
anyone belonging to one of the African races. 
(F. africain.) 

Practically everything, connected with 
Africa may be referred to as African. Thus 
we speak of African natives, African oranges, 
African climate, African millet, and so on. 
African oak (n.) is a wood very much like 
oak or mahogany exported from Sierra Leone 
and used for ship-building purposes. 

African lily (af ' ri kan lil' i), n. A genus 
of plants belonging to the lily family. (F. 

This genus of lilies, natives of South 
Africa, was called Agapanthus, because of 
the cluster of Jovely blue or white flowers. 
Its members are half-hardy plants useful for 
green-houses and sheltered places in mild 

The scientific name is from Gr. agape love, 
anthos flower. 

African marigold (af ri kan mar' i 
gold), n. A well-known garden flower. 

The so-called 
African marigold is 
a Mexican plant, 
Tagetes erccta, be- 
longing to the 
Composite family. 
The whole genus 
bears showy, yellow 
flowers, and is said to 
have been named 
after a young and 
beautiful Etruscan 
deity, Tages. 

Afridi (af re' de), 
adj. Belonging to a 
tribe living in the 
mountains on the frontier of India and 
Afghanistan. . A member of this tribe. 

It was a gang of lawless Afridis who, in 
1923, carried off Mollie Ellis, daughter of a 
British army officer. She was later rescued 
unharmed chiefly owing to the heroism of 
Mrs. Lilian Starr, who found the English girl 

African marigold. It 
came from Mexico. 




and stayed with her in the heart of the hill- 
men's domain until help came. 

Afridis. Tribesmen at an outpost in the mountains 

forming a natural boundary between North-West 

India and Afghanistan. 

Afrikander (af ri kan' der), adj. Born 
in South Africa of white parents, n. One so 

Towards the end of the nineteenth century 
the British began to show an increasing 
interest in the states of South Africa. The 
Boers resented this, and to protect themselves 
they formed about 1880 an association called 
the Afrikander Bond, which set itself out to 
oppose any attempt the British might make 
to extend their empire in that region. It 
aimed eventually at securing the independ- 
ence of South Africa. 

The word Afrikander is Dutch. 

aft (aft), adj. and adv. At the stern (rear) 
of a ship. (F. arriere.) - 

This is a word used by sailors, meaning at, 
or near, or- towards the stern of a vessel. 
When you go aft you go in the direction of the 
back part of the ship as distinct from the stem 
or bow (the front part) . Fore and aft means 
from stem to stern, or, in other words, the 
whole length of the ship. 

A.-S. aeft behind ; aefter is a comparative form. 
Both go back to A.-S. of (emphatic off) away 

after (af ' ter), adv., prep., and conj. Behind ; 
according to ; in pursuit of ; following ; at 
a time subsequent to. adj. Later ; hinder. 
(F. apres ; suivant.} 

This word has many meanings. Jill tum- 
bled after Jack down the hill. A tailor cuts a 
coat after a certain pattern. One hurries after 
his dog when he runs away. A doctor looks 
after his patients. We welcome a friend who 
returns after several months' absence. After 
the concert we go home. After years are 

years that follow, and an after cabin is a cabin 
in the hind part of a ship. 

The word is often found in combination 
with other words. After-crop (af ' ter krop, 
n.) is a second crop (of hay, etc.) cut-'in the 
same year. After-damp (af ter damp, n.) is 
a poisonous gas carbonic acid often found 
in coal-mines following an explosion. In- 
struments have been invented which detect 
the presence of this deadly gas. After-glow 
(af ter glo, .) is the term applied to the light 
in the sky, after sunset. After-math (af ter 
math, n.) is after-grass, that is another crop 
appearing after the first has been cut. 
The word, which means " after-mowing," is 
used also to describe the after effects of 
some event. An aftermath of the World 
War was an increase in taxation. 

Aftermost (af ' ter most, adj.) is a term 
used by sailors meaning most aft or nearest 
the stern of a ship. Afternoon (af ter noon', 
n., af ter noon, adj.] is or relates to the time 
between noon and evening. After-piece 
(af ter pes, n.) is a short play, usually a 
farce, presented after a more important play. 
Afterthought (af ter thawt, n.) may mean a 
thought occurring after something has been 
done, or an explanation offered late. After- 
ward (af ter ward, adv.) or afterwards (af ter 
wardz, adv.) means later or subsequently. 
We say something to annoy a friend and 
afterwards are sorry. 

For the etymology of after see aft. In the 
compound afterward(s) the suffix -ward(s) is 
derived from A.-S. weordhan, M.E. worthen, (G. 
werden) to become, so that the word really means 
" that which becomes, is made after." SYN. : 
Behind, later, subsequent. ANT. : Before, facing, 

aga (a' ga ; ag' a; a ga'), n. A Turkish 
officer of high rank. Another spelling is 
agha. (F. aga.) 

This . title is not 

Asa. A Turkish officer 
of high rank. 


only bestowed on 
men holding the 
chief posts in the 
Turkish army, but 
may be given to 
someone holding an 
important civil 
position, and is also 
used as a term of 
respect in address-, 
ing civilians of high 
station and wealth. 
The title wa.s applied 
to the chief of the 
janizaries, or janis- 
saries, who were a 
bodyguard of the 
Sultan of Turkey, 
formed in 1328 from 
prisoners of war. 
They were sup- 
pressed in 1826 by 
Sultan Mahmu'd II. 

Turkish agha master 
(of servants). 




again (a gan'), adv. Once more ; 
besides. (F. encore.) 

Again is used in many different ways. If 
at first you don't succeed, you try again. 
When you are at the seaside you may bathe 
now and again (i.e. occasionally) . An airman 
may try to beat the speed record ; again, he 
may loop the loop. Your next door neighbour 
may be back again from his holidays. A man 
who does something repeatedly is said to 
do it " again and again." 

A.-S. ow = in, gegn against, opposite, G. gegen, 
that is, in an opposite direction. SYN. : Anew, 
besides, further, moreover. ANT. : Once. 

against (a ganst'), prep. Opposite to ; 
in contact with. (F. vis-a-vis, contre.) 

Two teams play against one another at 
football. We may lean against a post. Light 
things show up well against a dark back- 
ground. We provide against misfortune by 
putting money away. Anything we do 
unwillingly is said to go against the grain. 
We may do a thing against our better 

M.E. again-cs-t, where -es is a gen. ending, 
t being added as if the word was a superlative. 
See again. SYN. : Facing, opposite. ANT. : 
For, with. 

agami (ag' a mi), n. The native name 
in Guiana for a bird also called the golden- 
breasted trumpeter. (F. agami.) 

The agami is often shy of strangers. Try 
to make friends with him and he will at once 
show you how fast he can run. You may try 
to catch him, but most likely you will be 
unsuccessful, for, although he is a poor 
flyer, he is a splendid runner. 

When tame, the agami may be seen strut- 
ting about, close to his master's heels, with 
all the faithfulness of a dog. The agami is 
related to the crane and is found in the 
tropical regions of South America. The 
scientific name is Psophia crepitans. 

agape (a gap'), adj. and adv. With open 
mouth. (F. bouche beante.) 

Usually a person does not stand agape 
unless something astonishes him or he is in an 
attitude of expectation. The tricks of a 
conjurer may cause one to stand agape ; so 
may the sight of someone about to perform 
a daring feat. 

E. a- =on, gape ( = on the gape). 

agape (agape), n. A kind of feast, (pi. 
agapae or agapai.) (F. agape.) 

In the days when it called for great courage 
to own that one was a Christian, the brave 
little banJ who pinned their faith to 
Christianity were very often ill-used. In 
spite of their sufferings they remained true 
to their beliefs, being comforted by the 
thought that they were united by a feeling 
of brotherhood and love. The feast they 
held before or after the Lord's Supper came 
in this way to be called the agape or 
" love-feast " 

Gr. agape love. 

agar-agar (a/ gar a' gar), n. A jelly- 
like substance obtained from sea-weeds. (F< 

In the world of science agar-agar is used in 
the cultivation of bacteria. In the East it is 
chiefly used in making soups and jellies. 
Agar-agar is also called Ceylon moss. The 
word is of Malay origin. 

agaric (ag' a rik ; a gar' ik), n. A name 
given to various kinds of fungus, including 
the mushroom. (F. agaric.) 

\Vhenever we walk across a field and see 
a " fairy ring " we at once think of fungi 
and probably start searching for them. 
Unless one knows which are the eatable 
varieties it is wise not to pick any, because 
some kinds are highly poisonous. 

Gr. agarikon, L. agaricutn. 

Agaric. A name given to various kinds of fungus, 
such as the toad-stools in this picture. 

agate (ag' at), n. Name of various kinds 
of precious stone. (F. agate.) 

This name is given to any semi-transparent 
variety of precious stone of the quartz kind, 
used chiefly for making brooches, etc. It is 
also the name of an instrument used by gold 
wire drawers, so called because it has an agate 
in the centre. Again, it is the American 
name for a certain type used in printing 
known in England as " ruby." 

Legend has made agate the birthday stone 
for the month of June, and it is supposed to 
signify health and long life. 

Gr. L. achates, said to be so called because 
it was found near a river of this name in Sicily. 

agave (a ga' ve), n. A plant family to 
which the American aloe (or century plant) 
belongs. (F. agave.) 

These plants grow to a great height, often 
more than 30 feet. In parts of southern 
Europe advantage is taken of their thick, 
spiky foliage to use them as fences. The sap 
of its buds is fermented and distilled to 
form pulque. 

Gr. agauos noble, fern, agaue. L. Agave, a 
proper name in mythology. 




The Romance of a tiny Word of three Letters ivhich may mean Millions of Years or a --Second 

age (aj), n. Length of life; a great 
period, v.i. To grow old. v-.t. To cause to 
grow or appear old. (F. age, sieclc.) 

We speak of a man who is 70 years old as 
having reached a good age. England won 
many battles on the sea during the Eliza- 
bethan age, when good Queen Bess reigned. 
In law we are infants until we " come of 
age " on our twenty-first birthday. 

Perhaps in the course of a country ramble 
we reach an old-world village and we find, 
resting on a rustic seat by the village green, 
a hale old man the 
oldest inhabitant. We 
talk to him and , he 
interests us with tales 
of events that hap- 
pened over .80 years 
ago. To us they are 
pages from a history 
book ; to him they are 
boyhood memories. 
He points out to us 
the old church across 
the green, looking the 
same now as when he 
first saw it, and dating 
back perhaps 500 
years. We honour the 
old man for his years 
and the old church for 
its old - time associa- 
tions. We are im- 
pressed because time 
means something to 
us when measured in 
tens or hundreds of 

As we walk on, still 
thinking of the talk 
we have had, we try 
to imagine what life 
was like thousands of 
years ago, a long, long 
time before the old church was built, before 
man had even learnt how to make bricks. 
And this may lead us to ask ourselves two 
questions that scientists have been trying to 
answer for years. How old is man? How 
old is the earth? 

Mother Earth, so far, has managed to keep 
her exact age a carefully guarded secret. 
Maybe it will remain a mystery for all time, 
but so much progress towards a solution has 
been made recently that we may believe that 
science has not yet reached the end of her 
discoveries. The sea, the moon, the ocean-bed 
and the heat of the earth have all been called 
in to help man form his theories. 

Professor John Joly thought that the 
oceans must once have been fresh water, and 
he estimated the time it has taken them 

Age. A striking contrast in the age of animals. 

An elephant may live for 200 years, while the 

mayfly (inset) usually exists for about a day. 

to obtain their present degree of saltness. 
Sir George Darwin worked out the age of the 
earth from the age of the moon. A famous 
geologist measured the depth of the rocks and 
mud on the ocean floor, while Lord Kelvin 
calculated the length of time it has taken the 
earth to cool. These wonderful experiments 
made out Mother Earth to be at least one 
hundred million years old far beyond the 
point when time has any real meaning. 

History goes back roughly to 4000 B.C., but 
man must have existed long before he learnt 
to write. Probably he 
I made his first appear- 
' ance on earth not much 
less than a million 
years ago. While he 
battled with the mam- 
moth for supremacy, 
there occurred the Ice 
Age, when the best 
part of Britain was 
covered in a sea of ice. 
Successively there 
came the Stone Age, 
the Bronze Age, and 
the Iron Age periods 
denoted by the 
material man used for 
his weapons. History 
had its Dark and 
Middle Ages, roughly 
between the sixth and 
fifteenth centuries. 

The ages of birds, 
beasts, and fishes vary- 
very considerably and 
not always in relation 
to their size. While 
the elephant may live 
for 200 years and the 
mayfly but one day, 
the eagle may expect 
to live to 60 half 
as long again as a horse. 

A flower withers as it ages, and trouble 
ages us. People who have lived a long time 
may be said to be aged (a' jed, adj.] or to be 
aged (ajd, adj.), say, 72 years. They are 
sometimes referred to as the aged, and any 
infirmities they suffer may be due to agedness 
(a/ jed nes, .). In 1924 the death occurred 
of a South African who was believed to have 
reached the age of 124, and at about the 
same time a Bushman Jiving in a village on 
the Orange river, in South Africa, claimed 
that he was a baby when the British captured 
Cape Town in 1795. 

The summer term at school seems as if it 
will never come to an end, and appears to be 
ageless (adj.). 

L.L. aetaiicum, O.F. aage, edage, cage, F. age. 




agency (a/ jen si), n. The means. by 
which a result is produced ; the -profession, 
business, or occupation' of one who acts as 
agent for another ; the place where such an 
agent works. (F. agence.) - See agent. 

SYN. : Action, instrumentality, means, 

agenda (a jen' da), n. The list of matters 
to be considered at a company, committee, 
club, or other meeting. (F. agenda.} 

L. neuter pi. of gerundive of agere=things to 
be done. 

Agent. Water as an agent in the making of electric 

power. At Rjukan, Norway, the water for driving 

the machinery is brought to the power-station by 

a series of pipe-lines. 

agent (a/ jent), n. A person or thing that 
produces a certain result or exercises a certain 
power, especially a person authorized to act 
for and to transact business for another. (F. 

A big business concern will employ agents 
all over the world to look after its interests. 
States, too, have agents in foreign countries. 
In India some groups of native states, ad- 
ministered by agents, are called agencies. 
The men who represent the states of the 
Australian Commonwealth and the provinces 
of the Dominion of Canada in London are 
known as agents-general. An important side 
of their work is to watch the business interests 
of their states and to draw people's attention 
to their natural riches. In the windows of 
their offices you can see samples of splendid 
wool and fruit, great lumps of ore, and other 
examples of what Australia and Canada can 
produce. In Scotland certain classes of 
lawyers are called law agents. 

In the world of nature any force that exerts 
an influence on matter is called an agent. 
Thus we speak of a physical agent or a 
chemical agent or a medical agent. 

Then there are what are called agents of 
production. These are certain forces of 
nature and of man which together produce 
any article. They are land, capital, that is, 

money saved, labour, and organization (which 
is the arrangement of the other three) . 

L. agent (-em) ace. sing, of pres. -p. active of 
agere=one who or that which does. SYN.,; 
Cause, factor, instrument, means, operator. 
ANT. : Chief, inventor, principal. 

Ageratum (a jer'atum ; aj er a' turn), n. 
A genus of asters. (F. agerate.) 

The name was probably given by the Greeks 
and Romans to some kind of " everlasting 
flower." Certain American species of aster 
are now known by this name, and several are 
cultivated for their flowers, especially the 
Mexican Ageratum, with its clusters of 
lavender-blue flowers, which keep their colour 
for a considerable time. The Ageratum 
belongs to the Composite order. 

Gr. ageratos that never grows old, from a- not, 
geras old age- 
agger (aj' er), n. .A mound ; the ram- 
part of a Roman camp. (F. renipart.) 

When the Romans invaded Britain they 
sought various spots in which to establish 
their camps. They were wise soldiers, for they 
usually chose a place which had the advantage 
of commanding the surrounding country. 

The Roman soldiers, having traced the 
square of oblong outline of their camp, dug 
a trench or fosse round it, and threw up the 
earth on the inner side to form a rampart 
or agger, on which they built a stockade, 
or sometimes a wall, called the vallum. 
Then, if an enemy approached, they could 
hide behind the rampart and mow down the 
attackers, who would be in full view. 

Earlier still, the Britons had made their 
camps, also with agger and fosse, on the 
tops of hills such as the Downs, and they 
are called " Rings," for the circular shape of 
each camp is still plain. Rudyard Kipling 
describes them in his beautiful poem called 
" Sussex." 

L. ag- =ad to, gerere to bring (to a place), 
heap up. 

agglomerate (a glom' er at), v.t. and v.i. 
To gather into a ball or mass. n. Rock 
formed of volcanic fragments, adj. Collected 
into a mass. (F. agglomerer ; s' assembler .) 

To students of geology, that is, the history 
of the earth's crust, the action of volcanoes 
is particularly interesting, for by this means 
all sorts of fragments of materials and molten 
rock are flung up to the surface. After these 
have rolled together down the side of the 
volcano and become united by their terrific 
heat, they have formed what is called an 

When this mass has cooled, geologists break 
it up and examine and test the different 
materials that compose it. In this way they 
find out much about the various minerals that 
help to form the earth. 

A thick cluster of flowers in one head is 
called agglomerate, and we might use the 
word agglomeration (a glom er a' shun, it.) in 
describing a badly designed group of build- 
ings, a mere heap of bricks and mortar. 




Agglomerate. The dense mass of molten rock which has been flung up by the volcano of Vesuvius, in Italy. 
The central cone may be seen in the distance, far away from the agglomerate. 

Things that have a tendency to gather into a 
mass are agglomerative (a glom' er a tiv, adj.) . 
L. agglomerate, from ag- = ad to, glomerarc to 
collect in a body, glomus (gen. glomer-is) ball of 
yarn, cotton. SYN. : Accumulate, amalgamate, 
cluster, mass. ANT. : Disperse, divide, separate. 

agglutinate (a gloo' tin at), v.t. To glue 
or stick together. (F. agglutiner.) 

We all know what happens when we join 
things together with glue. They become 
attached to each other, although they are 
really separate bodies. In ordinary speech 
we say they have been glued together, or 
stuck together. 

Learned men who study languages use the 
word agglutinate or agglutinative (a gloo' 
tin a tiv, adj.) to describe certain languages 
in which the parts making up the words, 
that is, the roots, suffixes, and prefixes, are 
very rarely changed, no matter how they are 
placed together. The opposite of agglutin- 
ative in this sense is inflexional. They would 
call Turkish an agglutinative language be- 
cause of this agglutination (a gloo ti na' shun, 

L. agghitinare, from ag- =ad to, glutinare to 
glue, from gluten (gen. glutin-is) glue. 

aggrandize (ag' gran dlz), v.t. To make 
greater in wealth, power, rank, honour, or 
influence. (F. agrandir.) 

In ordinary conversation or writing this 
verb is rarely used, but we fairly often speak 
of aggrandization (a gran di za' shun, n.) 
and aggrandizement (a gran' diz ment, n.). 
For example, when Cardinal Wolsey built 

himself the huge palace at Hampton Court 
he did so for his own aggrandizement, or, in 
homely words, to " show off." But Henry 
VIII soon punished him for this parade of his 
wealth and importance. 

L. ag- =ad to, grandire to make great, from 
grandis great, large. SVN. : Dignify, elevate, 
enlarge, enrich. ANT. : Debase, degrade, humili- 
ate, impoverish. 

aggravate (ag' gra vat), v.t. To make 
worse ; to provoke ; to irritate. (F. pro- 
voquer, irriter, aggraver.) 

In colloquial, or everyday language, this 
word is used in the sense of annoying a person 
until you make him bad tempered if he was 
not already so, or in a worse frame of mind 
if he was already angry. In such a case you 
would have been acting aggravatingly (ag' 
gra vat ing li, adv.). Otherwise the word 
means making bad worse. Except in its 
everyday sense it is always used of things, 
never of persons. The ordinary incon- 
veniences caused by poverty are difficult 
enough to bear ; illness is an aggravation (ag 
gra va' shim, n.) of them. 

L. aggravare to make heavier, from ag- =ad to, 
gravare to load, from gravis heavy. SYN. : 
Enrage, highten, increase, intensify. ANT. : 
Allay, alleviate, lessen, palliate. 

aggregate (ag' gre gat), v.t. To collect 
together, v.i. To be so collected, adj. Gath- 
ered together, n. The whole number or sum. 
(F. reunir, se reunir ; agrege.) 

The most usual expression in which we use 
this word is when we say " in the aggregate," 




which means " taken as a whole," or collect- 
ively, not separately. Many men do not care 
for the society of their fellow creatures, but 
man in the aggregate is a " social animal." 
We speak of population being aggregated in 
cities and also of the population of a city 
aggregating so many million souls. The act 
of gathering parts into a whole and the state 
of being so collected is aggregation (ag gre 
ga' shun, n.), and the whole as formed by 
such parts is the aggregate or an aggregate 
quantity or amount. 

This word is used by geologists and botan- 
ists and others who study nature. Granite, 
which consists of different minerals formed 
into one rock, is aggregate. So are such plants 
as the scabious and the teasel, for each flower- 
head is made up of a number of separate 
florets or little flowers. (See agglomerate.) 
The material that builders mix with lime to 

Agile. Agile workers about to spring-clean Big Ben, 
the famous clock of the Houses of Parliament. 

make concrete is called aggregate, and the 
mixing is an aggregative (ag gre ga' tiv, adj.) 

L. aggregare to bring to a flock, from ag- =ad to, 
gregare, from grex (gen. gregis) flock. SYN. : n. 
Mass, sum, whole, v. Accumulate, amass, heap 
up. ANT. : n. Individual, item, unit. v. Dis- 
perse, divide, scatter. 

aggress (a gres'), v.i. To attack, espec- 
ially to begin a quarrel. (F. attaquer.) 

If a little state, which has long enjoyed 
undisturbed peace and prosperity, is sud- 
denly and for no reason attacked by a power- 
ful nation, this would be an act of aggression 
(a gresh' un, n.), and it might possibly lead 
some other state to take up arms on behalf 
of its injured neighbour against the aggressor 
(a gres' sor, .). 

Besides meaning inclined to show such 
aggressiveness (a gres' si v nes, n.) the word 
aggressive (a gres' siv, adj.) is also used to 
denote persons and things that force our 
attention on them, and it can be applied to 
things that are in bad taste and offensive. 
Thus we speak of a shareholder adopting 
an aggressive attitude at a company meeting, 
of a coat being aggressive in colour or cut, 
and of a building that is aggressively (a gres' 
siv li, adv.) ugly. 

L. aggressus, p.p. of aggredi to attack, from 
ag- =ad to, against, gredi (gradi) to walk, advance. 
SYN. : Assault, attack, encroach, invade. ANT. : 
Defend, repel, repulse, resist. 

aggrieve (a grev'), v.t. To grieve ; to 
oppress ; to arouse a sense of injury or in- 
justice in. (F. peiner, blesser.) 

The word was formerly used of anything 
that weighed heavily upon anyone, and was. 
used in the active voice as well as in the 
passive. Now it is nearly always used in the. 
passive voice and with the sense of a 
grievance implied. An old-fashioned 
historian would say that a king aggrieved 
his subjects with taxes, meaning simply that 
he bore heavily on them with his demands 
for money, with nothing implied about their 
feelings. Nowadays, if a man is wrongfully 
accused of a crime, we do not say that the 
accusation aggrieves him, but that he feels 
himself aggrieved by the accusation, and 
we mean that it is a grievance, that it fills 
him with a sense of injury and injustice. 

O.F. agrever, L. aggravare, from ag- =ad to, 
gravare to make heavy (gravis). 

aghast (a gast'), adj. Terrified. (F. 

The Anglo-Saxon term from which some 
think we have got this word meant to fix or 
stick, and when we wish in writing or speak- 
ing to express terror which paralyses anyone 
and makes him unable to move, we sometimes 
say : " He stood rooted to the spot." This 
description is true to nature, for in moments 
of great terror our power of movement often 
deserts us and makes us stand perfectly still, 
transfixed to the spot. 

A more satisfactory etymology of the word 
appears to be a- (intensive prefix) and gast p.p. 
of M.E. gasten to fill with terror. The h is 
wrongly inserted, possibly from a supposed con- 
nexion with ghost. SYN. : Afraid, amazed, 
frightened, stupefied. ANT. : Cool, indifferent, 

agile (aj' II), adj. Nimble. (F. agile.) 

Besides denoting physical activity, such as 
that of a mountain climber, a quick dancer, 
an acrobat, or such a light-footed animal as 
a cat, this word is also used in describing the 
human mind. For example, when a student is 
able to pass on quickly from one subject to 
another and apply his mind so steadily to 
each one that he quickly masters it, we say 
that he has an agile mind or that he has 
agility (a jil' i ti, n.) of mind. 

L. agilis quick to act, from agere to do. SYN. : 
Alert, lithe, ready, swift. ANT. : Awkward, 
clumsy, heavy, slow. 




Agistment. The taking in of animals to feed at so much per head is known as agistment. In the great 
open spaces of big cities sheep may often be seen grazing. 

agio (aj ' i 6 ; aj ' i 6), n. A charge made for 
exchanging money ; a difference in money 
values ; a premium ; a discount ; money- 
changing. (F. agio.) 

In the Middle Ages the coinage of the 
various European countries was so uncertain 
in value that special banks were set up in 
important trade centres to remedy this. 
These banks made it their business to supply 
what was called " bank money," that is, 
money that merchants would accept without 
their having to weigh it or otherwise test its 

A merchant would go, say, to the Bank of 
Hamburg, pay in a sum of money made up 
of a medley of coins of different weights, 
values, and degrees of purity, and receive in 
exchange an amount of exactly the same 
value in bank money. For this service the 
merchant would pay the bank a small charge, 
and this was the agio. 

The word is now used in various senses in 
connexion with exchanging money. For 
instance, it means the premium or discount 
(the fee you may have to pay or may be en- 
titled to receive) when you are exchanging 
the money of one country for the money of 
another, or when you exchange say, silver 
for gold or coin for paper money. Sometimes 
coins get very worn in passing from hand to 
hand, and the value they are supposed to 
represent is less than their real value. If you 
want to exchange such coins you may have 
to pay an agio, that is, a sum representing the 
difference between their actual value and the 
value marked on them. 

Agio is also sometimes used to denote 
speculation in stocks (see Speculation) , and so 

is the word agiotage (aj' i 6 taj, n.), which 
also means money-changing. 

Ital. agio, literally ease (cp. adagio), F. aise 
(convenience) which some connect with L. 
adjacere to lie near or conveniently. 

agist (a jist'), v.t. To provide pasture 
for (animals) for hire ; to levy a rate on (land 
or land-owners). (O.F. agister.) 

In some of the open spaces around London 
and other big cities you often see sheep or 
other live-stock grazing, for farmers have not 
always enough grass-land of their own to 
give proper food to their animals. Even in 
Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens, which 
border on the very busiest parts of the more 
fashionable end of London, you will some- 
times see sheep browsing. Strangers always 
remark upon the sight, for it seems like a 
piece of the country in the heart of the 
metropolis. The practice of taking in live- 
stock to feed, as well as the charge made, is 
known as agistment (a jist' ment, n.). 

The word agistment is also used for a rate 
levied on land that is not pasture. Land by 
the coast may be charged with agistment 
for keeping the sea backhand a dike made for 
this purpose is sometimes called an agistment. 
In the palmy days of the forest laws in 
England the agister (a jist' er, n.) was a very 
important person. He was the official who 
looked after the pasturage of the forests. The 
herbage of the forests and the right to it 
and the payment for it were all called 

O.F. agister to give a place to lie in, from a- =ad, 
giste something to lie on, F. gite (L. jacere 
to lie). 




agitate (aj' i tat), v.t. To shake ; to 
excite ; to bring forward for discussion, v.i. 
To endeavour to arouse public interest. (F. 

An earthquake agitates the ground it 
makes it rock to and fro. It also agitates 
the people who are shaken by it it disturbs 
them and fills them with terror. Before any 
important social or political reform can be 
carried out the question has to be agitated 
in order to get the general public interested 
in it. Feeling often runs high while the 
agitation (aj i ta' shun, n.) is going on, and so 
an agitator (aj' i ta tor, n.) must needs be a 
man of ability and courage. The term 
agitator is also used for a machine for 
shaking and mixing. 

L. agitare to drive often, frequentative of 
agere to drive. SYN. : Debate, discuss, stir. 
ANT. : Calm, pacify, soothe. 

agitato (aj i ta' to), adj. Agitated ; 
disturbed, adv. With agitation. (F. agitato.) 

In dramatic and descriptive compositions, 
when it becomes necessary to express great 
emotion, such as fear or anger, the direction 
agitato is printed on the music. During 
exciting scenes in a film play, a fight, a 
fire, or other intense situation, the 
orchestra works up the music to a high 
pitch of enthusiasm. 

Ital. agitato (p.p. of agitare), L. agitare, fre- 
quentative of agere to drive. 

Aglet. The cords of gold lace called aiguillettes, 

which hang from the left shoulder of certain naval 

officers, are survivals of the seventeenth century 


aglet (ag' let), n. The metal tag of a lace 
or ribbon ; a hanging dress ornament ; a 
catkin. (F. aiguillette .) 

In the seventeenth century men of fashion 
wore very elaborate dress and were great 
dandies. Their highly finished coats, decor- 
ated with large lace-edged collars and cuffs, 
fitted loosely to the figure and were braided 
and tagged round the waist. These tags or 

aglets were the ends, of silken laces, which 
were fastened to the breeches beneath. The 
aiguillettes or ornamental shoulder-tags worn 
with some naval and military uniforms are a 
survival of these old aglets. 

What Shakespeare, in " The Taming of the 
Shrew " (I, 2), meant by ah aglet-baby is 
uncertain perhaps somebody decked out 
with aglets or an aglet in the shape of a 
human being. The hanging spikes or catkins 
of some plants, such as the willow, are some- 
times called aglets. The word is also spelt 
aiglet (ag' let). 

Fr. aiguillette small needle (aiguille), L.L. 
acucula dim. of acus (needle). 

aglow (a glo'), adv. In a glow ; very- 
warm. (F. tres chaud, rougissant.) 

On a very cold day, when we want to set 
ths blood coursing through our bodies in 
order to get warm, we go for a brisk walk, 
or do some physical work, which makes us all 
aglow. When we are warmed by exercise, 
most of us have a heightened colour, and so 
aglow is used to express warm colouring, as 
of a sunset or a field of poppies. The word 
is also applied to effects due to the feelings. 
The face of a girl at her first dance is aglow 
with delight. 

E. a- =on, in, and glow. 

agnail (ag' nal), n. An inflamed patch 
round a toe-nail or a finger-nail. (F. envie.) 

You seldom hear people using the word 
agnail for a sore place round the nail. If it is 
seriously inflamed and eventually becomes 
septic or poisonous they call it a whitlow. 
The word agnail has developed through a 
mistaken popular etymology into another 
word, hang-nail, and the Scottish form is 
anger-nail. When people use any of these 
words they generally mean a little piece of 
torn skin at the root of the nail. Actually 
the " nail " part of the word does not mean 
a finger-nail or toe-nail at all, but a nail of 
iron or other metal, and so a swelling under 
the skin or by the side of the finger-nail 
shaped like a nail. 

O.E. angnaegl, from ang- painful, naegl nail 
(in the sense of a corn or outgrowth). 

agnate (ag' nat), n. A relative on the 
father's side. adj. Related on the father's 
side. (F. agnat.) 

The meaning of this word has altered from 
what it was under the old Roman law. Then 
persons related to one another through males 
only were called agnates, and persons who, 
though tracing descent from the father, were 
related through both males and females, were 
called cognates. Thus a brother's son would 
be his uncle's agnate and his sister's son his 
cognate. The relationship of the former was 
agnatic (ag nat' ik, adj.) or by agnation 
(ag na' shun, n.). Nowadays agnate simply 
denotes relationship through the father and 
cognate relationship through the mother. 

L. agnatus (p.p. of agnasci), from ag- ad to, 
(g) nasci to be born. 




agnomen (ag no' men), n. An additional 
name. (F. surnom.) 

In the days of the Romans people had a 
family name or surname, just as we have, 
which was called their cognomen and on to 
this was sometimes added another name, 
often to keep in memory something very im- 
portant they had done. This extra name was 
the agnomen. The name of Africanus, which 
was given to the great Roman general Scipio 
after he had destroyed the power of Carthage 
at the battle of Zama in 202 B.C., was an 

What could almost be called agnomens are 
very common in Wales. In " the Little Land 
Behind the Hills " the surnames are so often 
the same in a village or town, that the better- 
known people in the district are distinguished 
from each other by the addition of the name 
of the place where they work or live to 
the name of Jones or Price or whatever it 
may be. 

Thus the manager of the local gas-works 
will be called Mr. Jones (or whatever his 
surname is) the Gas-works, or Mr. Jones the 
Gas for short, the head of the chief bank in 
the village or town will be called Mr. Jones 
the Bank, and so on. 

L. ag- ad to, in addition, (g)nomen name. 

agnostic (ag nos' tik), n. One who holds 
that nothing can be known except by the 
evidence of the senses, adj. Relating to this 
belief. (F. agnostique.) 

Professor T. H. Huxley (1823-95) believed 
that no one knows more than his own senses 
tell him, and so he coined the word agnost- 
icism (ag nos' ti sizm, n.} for the teachings of 
those who hold that we cannot prove the 
existence of an Absolute Being controlling the 
universe. Anyone who holds such views is 
agnostically (ag nos' tik al li, adv.] minded. 

Gr. -a- not, gnostikos capable of knowing. 

Agnus Dei (ag' mis da' e), n. Latin for 
Lamb of God, a name for Christ ; a figure of a 
lamb as an emblem of Christ ; a tablet bear- 
ing this emblem ; a part of the Mass ; the 
music to this. 

The title Lamb of God was given to Christ 
by St. John the Baptist. When the lamb is 
used as an emblem of Christ it has a staff, or 
a banner or flag, with a cross on it. At 
certain times little wax or silver tablets with 
this emblem stamped on them are blessed by 
the Pope and given to people. The Agnus 
Dei of the Mass is so called because it begins 
with these two words. It comes between the 
consecration and the communion. There are 
many very beautiful musical settings of this 

ago (a go'), adv. In time gone by ; since. 
(F. il y a.) 

This word was once spelt agone. It is a 
shortened past participle of the old verb 
ago, agan, which we do not use now, although 
we still use agone in poetry and poetical 
prose. Ago is sometimes used as a noun, 

as when we speak of memories of the long 

A.-S. agan, from a away, gdn to go. SYN. : 
Gone, past. ANT. : Coming, hence, hereafter. 

agog (a gog'), adj. and adv. In a state of 
eager expectation or great excitement. (F. 
en train.} 

Suppose a bazaar was going to be opened 
by royalty in a little out-of-the-way country 
place. Imagine the preparations made for 
the illustrious visitor ! How would she 
look ? What would she say ? The whole 
village would be agog. 

E. a- =on ; gog perhaps connected with O.F. 
goguc, found in F. goguenarder to joke. SYN. : 
Astir, eager. ANT. : Cold, lukewarm. 

Agnus Dei. The beautiful emblem of Christ which 

marks theMiddleTemple. London, the site of which 

was once owned by the Knights Templars. 

v agogic (a goj' ik), adj. Having refer- 
ence to the varying emphasis which can be 
obtained when speaking by lengthening the 
syllable, or in music by lengthening the note. 
(F. agoge.) 

An interesting though doubtful story, 
probably invented by a commentator, is told 
of the Greek orator Demosthenes. He was 
accusing one of his enemies, and he asked his 
hearers, " Which, O Athenians, do you think 
this man to be, a friend of our enemy, or his 
hireling ? " When he said the Greek word 
for " hireling " he purposely placed the 
accent on the wrong syllable. The audience 
immediately shouted " Hireling, hireling ! " 
correcting his wrong pronunciation. " Ah," 
he replied. " You think as I do, that he is a 
hireling." His trick had worked. This is 
one of the best examples of agogics in speech 
that we know. 

Gr. agoge succession of ascending and descend- 
ing tones, rhythmical movement, from agein to 




agony (ag' !,-. Extreme suffering, 
anxiety or effort. (F. agonic.) 

This word is used to express great bodily 
pain and also great torture of mind, and 
always with the idea of struggling implied. 
In this second sense it is used especially of the 
anguish suffered by Christ in the Garden of 
Gethsemanc the night before His Crucifixion 
the Agony in the Garden. 

In most morning newspapers a column is 
given up to advertisements of a purely 
personal nature, which people put in when, 
for instance, they are searching^ for missing 
friends or relations. In many cases an ad- 
vertisement in this column is the very last 
resource of the sender at a time of great 
anxiety, and so the column is called the 
agony column. 

To agonize (ag' 6 niz, v.t. and /.) means to 
cause or suffer agony, or to strive desperately, 
and anything done with painful struggles is 
done agonizingly (ag' 6 niz ing li, adv.). 

Gr. L. agonia, properly contest, struggle (in 
games, Gr. agones). SYN. : Anguish, pain, 
suffering, torture. ANT. : Comfort, ease, rapture 

agora (ag' or a), n. An assembly ; a 
place of assembly. (F. agora.) 

This word was used originally for the 
assembly of a Greek city and then for the 
place where the people met, and especially 
for a market-place. Although the word is 

agraffe (a graf), n, A hook. (F. 

This word is applied to a kind of hook 
fastening to a ring used as a clasp for 
clothing, and also to one used by builders 
when they wish to strengthen walls or to 
fix objects to them. 

O.F. a to, grafer to grip (cp. G. Krampe, E. 
cramp) . 

agrarian (a grar' i an), adj. Relating to 
the land ; growing wild. n. One who is in 
favour of a different way of dividing up 
landed property. (F. agraire.) 

The Romans were very good legislators, 
and when they conquered other countries 
they prepared laws which arranged what 
should happen to these conquered lands. 
These laws were called agrarian laws. 

In various countries certain people have 
become possessed of land which originally 
had been given to one of their ancestors. 
Some people think that this is not just, as 
land is one of the chief producers of what is 
called economic wealth. They believe either 
that the State should be the owner of all 
landed property, or that the land should be 
portioned out afresh. A person in favour 
of schemes like this is sometimes called an 
agrarian, and so is a member of a political 
party that upholds the interests of land- 
holders and farmers. 

Agrarianism (a grar' i an izm, n.) is the 

not in use now, it re- .. . name sometimes used 

mains in the name 
of a curious disease. 
This illness is called 
agoraphobia (ag or a 
fo' bi a, 11.), and means 
the dread of open 
spaces, such as 
market places. 

Gr. agora, L.L. -phobia 
(in compounds), Gr. 
phobos fear. 

agouti (a goo' ti), 
n. A small South 
American animal 
something like a 
guinea-pig. Agouty is 
another spelling. (F. 

These little brown 
creatures hide during **-.*~ ^ 

tllC day in hollOW trees Agouti. ~- A destructive little South American 

or burrows, and come animal which hves on """"""^ * nd banan "' 

out at night. They are quite satisfied with the 
roots and leaves and fruits and nuts that they 
find in their forest homes, but if they come 
across a plantation of sugar-cane or bananas 
they do a great deal of damage. Travelling 
in flocks, they move at a trot or by quick 
leaps and bounds. They are about the sams 
size as hares. The scientific name is 
Dasyprocta aguti. 

Th6 name is derived through the French, 
Spanish, or Portuguese from a native Indian 


for such schemes for 
the redistribution of 
land, and also for 
troubles caused by dis- 
content with the way 
in which the land is 
held. To agrarianize 
(a grar' i an iz, v.t.) 
is to re-arrange the 
ownership of land in 
some such way as 
described above. 

L. agrarius, from ager 
field, land. 

agree (a gre'), v.i. 
To be of one mind ; to 
suit. v.t. To bring 
into harmony. (F. 
s'accorder, agreer, 

When we use this 
word in reference to 

people we mean that they get on well to- 
gether, or suit each other, or have the same 
views about a particular thing. We use the 
word agree in a grammatical sense for words 
that take the same gender, number, case, or 
person. In legal matters, an agreement (a 
gre' ment, n.) is a contract to which there 
must be two parties, each of which is bound 
to fulfil the various conditions. We some- 
times use the word agree in the sense of 
suiting or having a good effect. For instance, 
\ve say: "A hot climate does not agree with 



me." Accounts are agreed when the balance 
and the various items are brought into 

Agreeable (a gre" abl, adj.] may be used in 
describing a person as when we say : " She 
has a very agreeable manner," meaning that 
she is pleasant to talk to, easy to get on with. 
Such qualities of manner taken together 
make agreeableness (a gre' abl nes, n.), and if 
we find them in somebody who has a name 
for being grumpy we are agreeably (a gre' 
a bli, adv.) surprised. Then we say : "I will 
send so-and-so to you to-morrow, if that is 
agreeable to you," meaning " if that is con- 
venient to you," or " if that will please you." 

O.F. a = ad to, gre pleasure, from L.L. aggratare, 
from L. gratus pleasant. SYN. : Accord, har- 
monize, suit, tally. ANT. : Contend, disagree, 
dispute, dissent. 

agriculture (ag' ri kul cher), n. The 
science and practice of cultivating the soil. 
(F. agriculture.) 

Agriculture, or farming, as it is often 
called, is one of the earliest of man's 
occupations. The soil or land may be made 
to yield in various ways. For instance, if 
it is grassland affording food for cattle, it 
is called pasture, and the owner may either 
let it to someone else for pasturage or use it 
himself. Then it can be ploughed and used 
for the cultivation of cereals, vegetables, or 
flowers. A person engaged in agricultural 
(ag ri kul' cher al, adj.) pursuits is an 
agriculturist (ag ri kul' cher ist, n.) or 
agriculturalist (ag ri kul' cher al ist). , 

There is a government department in 
Great Britain which is concerned with agri- 
cultural matters, and this is called the Board 
of Agriculture and Fisheries. It was formed 
in 1889, and in 1903 the control of fisheries 
was placed in its care. 

L. 'agri (gen. of ager field), cultura tillage. 

agrimony (ag' ri mon i), n. A plant 
belonging to the rose order. (F. aigremoine.) 

This slender plant with its long spikes of 
little yellow flowers is common in British 
hedgerows. The fruit is covered with hooks, 
which cling to sheep and other animals, and 
in this way the seeds are carried far and wide. 
A yellow dye is got from the root, which is 
very bitter. 

The name agrimony is also applied to 
several quite different plants not of the rose 
order, such as hemp agrimony and water 

L. agrimonia, probably a misspelling for 
argemonia (Gr. argemone). 

agrimotor (ag' ri mo tor), n. A power- 
driven machine used in tilling the fields. 

It either draws a plough or other machine, 
or does the work itself. It is driven by a 
petrol engine or by an electric motor getting 
current through a cable. 

L. ager (gen. agri), and motor. 

aground (a ground'), adj. and adv. Stuck 
on the bed of the sea or other water. (F. 

a terre, fchoue.) 


Agriculture. At the top is a modern plough hauled 

by a tractor, in the centre girls are tending plants 

grown under glass cloches, and at the bottom is a 

mechanical reaper. 



When a boat becomes stranded in, such 
shallow water that she cannot float away 
again without help, we say she is aground. 
Such a mishap occurred to H.M.S. Howe at 
the entrance to Ferrol, Spain, in 1892. She 
was afterwards floated by a salvage company. 

E. a- =on ground. SYN. : Stranded. ANT. : 

agrie (a/ gu), . A kind of fever. (F. 
fievre aigue.) 

This fever comes on from time to time, and 
the patient becomes first hot and then cold. 
While he is cold he cannot stop shivering, 
so sometimes the word is used to describe 
any violent fit of shivering or a similar state 
of mind. A fever like this is called aguish 
(a/ gu ish, adj.), and so is anything that 
shivers and shakes or that happens by fits 
and starts. 

L. acuta (fern.) sharp, acute (febris understood). 

ah (a), inter. An exclamation which varies 
in meaning according to the manner and 
circumstances in which it is said. (F. ah .') 

We use the word when we wish to express 
surprise, joy, pity, interest, and various 
other emotions. 

aha (a ha'), inter. An exclamation used 
to express various feelings, such as triumph, 
mockery, and surprise. 

ahead (a hed'), adv. At the head ; 
farther on ; in advance. (F. en avant, 

A student who is very much more advanced 
than his fellows is far ahead of the others. 
One who goes ahead goes forward without 
stopping, and so a " go-ahead " person means 
one who is determined to get on. 

E. a- =on and head (onward, forward). 
SYN. : Before, forward, onward. ANT. : Back- 
ward, behind, .lagging. 

ahem (a hem'), inter. An exclamation 
to attract attention or to gain time. A 
person who hesitates in speaking is some- 
times said to " hem and haw." (F. hem !) 

Ahem is a longer form of hem (perhaps con- 
nected with hum). 

ahoy (a hoi'), inter. A word used by 
sailors when hailing a ship. (F. ho !) 

In whaling-boats there is a shelter, like a 
tiny cabin, at the top of the fore-mast. 
Here is stationed a look-out man, who scans 
the horizon, and when he sights a whale 
shouts out " Whale ahoy " and describes its 

A as in a-hem, hoy, of Dutch origin. 

Ahrixnan (a' ri man), n. The embodi- 
ment of evil in the religion of ancient Persia. 
(F. Ahriman.) 

This old religion, founded by a sage named 
Zoroaster perhaps eight centuries before the 
birth of Christ, is set forth in some ancient 
writings called the Zend-Avesta. It is 
called Zoroastrianism, ana is still believed in 
by the Parsees in India. The good deity is 
known as Ormuzd. 

ahull (a hul'), adv. A term sometimes used 
to describe a ship's method of progress. 
With sails furled, helm lashed (fastened with 
ropes) to the sheltered or lee side, and driving 
before the wind with stern foremost. (F. 
a sec.) 

E. a- =on, in (state or condition), and hull. 

ai (a' e), n. A three-toed sloth of South 
America. (F. ai'.) 

The name ai was given to the three-toed 
member of the sloth family because it was 
the nearest that the natives could get to the 
sound of the creature's cry. The ai feeds 
upon the leaves, shoots, and fruits of the trees 
among which it lives, and hangs upside down 
from the boughs by its long curved claws. 

Like all its family, it is naturally " sloth- 
ful," that is, slow in its movements. Its 
strong and easily-moved neck enables it to 
reach a large number of leaves without 
changing the position of its body. It has a 
long tongue, and teeth that are nearly all 
of the same height. 

Ai. The three-toed sloth of South America hanging 

upside down on the branch of a tree. It is a 

strict vegetarian. 

aid (ad), v.t. To help. n. Help ; assist- 
ance. (F. aider ; aide.) 

In the Middle Ages, when a feudal lord's 
eldest son was made a knight, or his eldest 
daughter was about to be married and had to 
be supplied with a dowry, the vassal had to 
make a contribution, which was called aid. 
Since then we have changed the use of the 
word to mean a grant of money by Parliament 
to the King. 

For ordinary purposes we use the term in 
the general sense of help, not only in money 
but in other ways, such as first aid to a 
person taken ill or injured. 

L. adjutare, frequentative of adjuvare, from 
ad to, juvare to help. SYN. : Abet, assist, 
benefit, help, relieve, succour, sustain. ANT. : 
Baffle, deter, discourage, oppose, thwart. 

aide (ad), n. An assistant. (F. aide.) 
This is really a French word, and we only 
use it in one connexion in English, that is, 
in aide-de-camp (ad' de kon, n.), pi. aides-de- 
camp, meaning a military officer who receives 




and passes on the orders of a general on the 

F. camp comes from L. campus field, open space 
where an army encamps. 

aigrette (a/ grot), n. A plume composed 
of feathers. A spray of gems worn on the 
head ; a small white heron. 


-Thc magnificent jewelled aigrette worn 
by a former shah of Persia. 

The name is given to a tuft 
of light feathers used to orna- 
ment a woman's hat, from the 
fact that the egret has a crest or 
tuft of feathers on its head. 

Jewellers, copying the dainti- 
ness of the spray-like effect, 
sometimes use the word aigrette 
to describe a jewelled ornament 
of the same shape worn on the 

The bird is a member of the 
heron family and is more often 
called the little egret. It some- 
times pays Great Britain a fleet- 
ing visit, but much prefers the 
wr.rmer weather of sunnier lands 
such as southern Europe, Africa, 
Persia, India, China, and Japan. 
Its graceful plumage is snow- 
white, with long feathers that 
droop backwards on the head, breast, and 
back ; though it sheds some of its finery 
during the winter. The egret, as befits 
a wader, builds its uncomfortable-looking 
nest of sticks and reeds in swamps and 
marshes. In some parts of India the bird 
is kept as a pet in much the same way 
as parrots and canaries, and often accompanies 

its owner on a fishing expedition. Its 
scientific name is Herodias garzetta. 

F. aigrette, dim. of aigron, a dialectal form of 
heron heron, O.H.G. heigir, modern G. Reiher. 

aiguille (a/ gwil), n. A sharp, needle- 
shaped piece of rock ; a slender boring-drill. 
(F. aiguille.} 

Many of the lesser peaks close to Mont 
Blanc are so sharp-pointed and slender that 
the suggestion of a needle naturally came to 
those who named them. Such are the 
Aiguille du Midi and Aiguille du Dru. 

When piercing a hole in a rock in which to 
place a charge of gunpowder, a sharp narrow 
tool called an aiguille is used. 

L.L. acucula, dim. of acus needle. 

aiguillette (a gwi let'), n. An ornamental 
tag, sometimes seen hanging from the 
shoulders of military and naval uniforms. 
See aglet. 

ail (al), v.t. To cause trouble or pain. v.i. 
To be unwell. (F. faire souffrir ; souffrir.) 

Ail is a good old English word that is going 
out of use. " What aileth thee ? " occurs 
frequently in the Bible and is much clearer 
than the present day form : " What is the 
matter with you ? " 

We may, however, still describe our sick 
friends as ailing (al' ing, part, adj.], but the 
commonest use of the word now is in its 
compound ailment (al' ment, n.), used chiefly 
in the expression " minor ailments," which 
include all illnesses that are not of a serious 

A.-S. eglan, M.E. eilen, to pain. 

aileron (al' ron), n. A movable flap 

Ailerons raised 
causing Left Wing 
to descend 

Aileron. The ailerons of an aeroplane are the means by 

which the pilot is able to maintain the lateral, or sideways, 

balance of the machine. 

hinged at the front tip of the wings or planes 
of an aeroplane. (F. aileron.} 

Ailerons are attached by wire cables, or 
controls, to the control lever, commonly 
known as the " joy-stick." Their purpose 
is to enable the pilot to control the lateral, 
or sideways, balance of the machine. 

F. aile (from L. ala} wing, and -eron dim. suffix. 




aim (am), v.t. To direct (a weapon, a 
missile, or a blow) in such a way as to hit, 
or with the intention of hitting, some object. 
v.i. To take aim ; to direct one's actions to 
the attainment of a definite object ; to form 
designs, n. The object at which a weapon is 
directed, the act of aiming ; the end one seeks 
to attain. (F. viser ; visee, but.) 

When every man was a hunter for his daily 
food one of the first lessons he had to learn was 

Aim. A woman competitor in an archery competition taking aim. In the 

days of Edward II every Englishman who was not a priest or a lawyer was 

fined if he did not practise shooting with a bow and arrow every Sunday. 

the law attained their aim also, that of 
obtaining a trained body of archers. 

An aim in life follows as a very natural 
figure from aim in shooting. The loftier the 
aim the better in some respects, but practical 
aims or those we have a good chance of 
reaching are also necessary. Anything is 
better than to be aimless (am' les, adj.) or to 
wander aimlessly (am' les li, adv.) through 
life. The aimful (am 7 ful, adj.) man, he who 
manfully pursues a fixed 
object, is he who obtains 
and gives the greatest 
pleasure in life. Aimless- 
ness (am' les nes, n.) is 
only another name for 
boredom and unhappiness. 
O.F. esmer to aim at, 
reckon, M.E. amen, aimen 
( = a-aestimare) to value, 
from L. aestimare. SYN. : 
Course, design, direction, 
endeavour, purpose. ANT. : 
Aimlessness, avoidance, 
negligence, oversight, ven- 

Aino (I' no), n. A 
member of an uncivilized 
race living in and around 
N. Japan. (F. Amos.) 

The Ainos (or Ainus) 
once occupied many of 
the islands now under 
Japanese rule. Nowadays 
they are to be found in 
Yezo and the islands to 
the north of Japan. More 
like Europeans than Mon- 
golians, the Ainos are 
short and sturdy with long 
hair. They speak in a 
tongue quite their own and 
are primitive in their 

to take aim correctly, and his very life de- 
pended on his success in learning to do so. 
Later in history it was warfare with human 
enemies that urged him to the same end. 

In modern times most sports demand 
similar ability. But whatever the cause may 
be that urges us, there is no doubt that the 
training entered upon before we can aim 
successfully at any target is most useful. 
Eye, hand, and judgment all have their share 
in the attainment of success, and whether the 
object aimed at be food,, enemy, wicket, or 
goal there is tremendous satisfaction to every 
healthy person in being able to shoot straight 
and accomplish the end desired. 

In the days of Edward II the laws de- 
manded that every Englishman, unless a 
priest or lawyer, should possess a bow of his 
own height, and that he should practise with 
it every Sunday and holiday or be fined one 
halfpenny. Football was forbidden because 
it interfered with archery. English bowmen 
became the finest soldiers of their time and a 
terror to their enemies. Thus the makers of 

It is thought by learned men who have 
studied the subject that the Ainos originally 
came from the north of Asia, and they may 
belong to the race that inhabited North 
Europe in the late Stone Age. Some centuries 
before the Christian era the Japanese, 
coming from the south and west, began to 
drive the Ainos north, though they fought 
stubbornly against them. In due course 
warfare gave place to peace, and missionaries 
sought to interest the natives in the teachings 
of Buddha. 

To-day the Ainos number about 17,000. 
The men continue to hunt and fish in the way 
their ancestors did in the long ago. Like the 
aboriginals of Australia, they have not grown 
up but are still the primitive children of 
nature. Unlike the Japanese, they are dirty 
in their habits, and are inclined to drunken- 
ness, but are gentle and friendly. The chief 
object of their worship is the bear. They 
are so proud of their hair that women have 
make-believe moustaches tattooed on their 
upper lips. 





Air is one of the Common Things of Life but one of the most Valuable 

air (ar), n. The gas which surrounds our 
earth ; the atmosphere ; open space ; 
manner ; appearance ; conceit, v.t. To 
expose to the air ; to display. (F. air ; 
aerer, faire parade de.} 

Air is a mixture of gases formed chiefly of 
oxygen (just over one-fifth of the whole) and 
nitrogen (nearly four-fifths). These two gases 
form about 99 per cent of the air. Until the 
year 1894 they were thought to be the only 
gases present in pure air, but a new gas was 
then found by Lord Rayleigh and Sir William 
Ramsay and named argon. It forms about 
one-hundredth ot the ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ 
air. Other gases were P 
later found to be 
always, present, 
though in very minute 
quantities. They were 
named helium, 
krypton, neon, and 

Besides these gases 
which form pure air 
certain impurities are 
always present. Water 
vapour arising from 
evaporation is always 
present, but is hardly 
an impurity. Perfectly 
dry air would be very 
trying to our lungs, 
which have to be kept 
moist. Carbonic acid 
gas is an impurity 
which results from the 
breathing of animals 
and plants ; it is also 
produced whenever 
anything is burned. 
Decaying substances 
produce ammonia and 
other gases which float 
in the air. 

Rays of sunshine 
breaking into a dark room reveal to us that 
the air is filled with tiny particles of dust. 
If these be caught on a glass plate coated 
with gelatine many of them will spread 
into patches of mould, while the microscope 
will reveal that others are the spores or 
linute germs of various tiny animals and 
Dlants. Among them are the microbes or 

icteria which cause diseases. Fortunately 
sun's rays will kill most of these, hence 
the importance of sunshine in our houses and 
:ities, and of airing clothes in the sunshine. 

Pure air is the chief necessity of our life, 
and it is impossible to pay too much attention 
to the means of obtaining it. Every time 
we fill our lungs by breathing we set up 
wonderful chemical exchanges between ouf 
blood and the air. If the latter is pure these 

Air. This young bather evidently finds the 
air very bracing. 

exchanges are healthful and invigorating ; if 
it is impure they are harmful and depress- 
ing, perhaps even deadly. 

Out-door exercise is the best of all methods 
of obtaining pure air, but indoor life need not 
be unhealthy if ventilation is properly 
carried out. 

Rooms in which the windows are kept open 
whenever possible are airy (ar' i, adj.). 
Houses should be built for airiness (ar' i nes, 
n.). This can -be done by the liberal employ- 
ment of air-bricks ( or bricks perforated 
by numerous holes ; these not only supply 
fresh air but also get 
rid of damp, which 
cannot exist where 
there is a free passage 
of air forming what 
builders call an air- 
drain (n.) 

Besides maintaining 
life, air is the means by 
which sounds are 
carried to our ears. 
These are sensitive to 
the air-waves ( 
set up by rapidly 
vibrating objects, and 
nerves from them 
convey sensations to 
our brains. Hence we 
speak of the air of a 
song .or other music, 
meaning the succes- 
sion of notes which 
form -its melody, and 
by which we recognize 

Air in movement 
produces winds, 
breezes, gales, and 
hurricanes in all the 
forms so well known 
to the sailor, who con- 
siders calm days as 
airless (ar' Its, adj.). Winds have been 
employed by man to drive his sailing ships 
over the water and to turn the sails of his 
windmills on land. Heated air and com- 
pressed air have also been used for driving 
air-engines (, and the latter for working 
air-guns ( and air-pistols ( 

The elastic nature of air has led to its use 
for filling rubber air-beds ( and air- 
cushions ( which are a boon to invalids. 
The air-jacket (n.) is a useful garment which 
can be worn by voyagers, and in case of netd 
can be blown out with air sufficient to support 
the wearer in the water. This is an imitation 
of certain fishes which float by means 'of an 
internal air-bladder (n.). The air-ball (n.) is 
a toy popular with children and many of 
their elders. 





The fact that air could be felt but not seen 
led our forefathers to strange beliefs about it. 
They thought everything was composed of 
four elements earth, air, fire, and water 
in varied proportions. Lightness and spirit 
they thought resulted from plenty of air, and 
all mental and spiritual qualities were attri- 
buted to it. Hence arose such terras as an 
" air of majesty," " an impudent air." 

Perhaps because haughtiness was the 
easiest air to assume it was described by " to 
give oneself airs." " Castles in the air " 
mean impossible dreams and projects. Airy 
(ar' i, adj.) often has this idea of fancifulness. 
Airily (ar' i li, adv.) means lightly or gaily. 

Gr. L. aer. SYN. : Atmosphere, gas, wind ; 
aspect, demeanour, style. 

air-base (ar' bas), n. A place used as-a 
centre from which fighting aircraft are sent 
out in war. 

An air-base is fitted out with everything 
needed for keeping aircraft in good order and 
repairing any damage. 

E. air and base. 

air-brake (ar' brak), n. An automatic 
brake used on railway engines and vehicles, 
worked by compressed air, or by the pressure 
of the atmosphere. (F. frein pneumatique .) 

Until about 1870 railway brakes were 
worked by hand, and it was impossible to pull 
up a train quickly. Then two different kinds 
of brakes appeared, either of which could be- 
applied in a moment to every wheel of a train, 
and would come into action of themselves 
if the train should happen to break in two. 

The compressed-air brake, invented by 
George Westinghouse (1846-1914) and named 

after him, uses a chamber under each carriage 
for storing air pumped from the engine 
through a pipe running the length of the train. 
If the driver lets air out of the pipe, every 
chamber lets air into a cylinder close to it, 
which applies the brakes. 

The vacuum brake also has a brake cylinder 
for each carriage and a continuous train pipe. 
Air is sucked out of the cylinders to keep the 
brakes off. . If air is admitted to the pipe, it 
presses on the under side of the piston in each 
cylinder but cannot get at the upper side, 
where there is little air. The piston is thus 
forced up, and the brakes go on. 

E. air and brake. 

, air-cb.amber (ar' chain ber), n. A metal 
chamber containing air, connected with the 
delivery pipe of a force pump. (F. chopinclte, 
reservoir a air.) 

When water is driven out of a force pump, 
some of it enters the air-chamber and com- 
presses the air in it. The air acts as a cushion 
and at the end of the stroke forces some of the 
water back into the pipe, so that .the. flow 
is kept steadier than would otherwise be the 
case, and the pipe is protected against 
severe shocks. 

E. air and chamber. 

aircraft (ar' kraft), 11. Balloons, aero- 
planes, and airships, taken together as a 
class, just as the word shipping covers ships 
of all kinds. (F. appareils d'aviation.) 

A dart dropped from aircraft is called an 
aircraft-arrow (n.) or an aerodart. 

E. air and craft. 

Air-brake. The care with which a train is braked is due to this invention. A is the ejector in the 
driver's cab that exhausts the air from the pipe B and the cylinders D throughout the train, thus taking off 
the brakes. When the driver lets air into the pipe, or if an accident occurs, air enters the cylinders as at 
D 1, moving the piston rod H which puts on the brakes. G is a release handle to take off the brakes when no 
engine is attached. The ball valve E acts so as to maintain the vacuum behind the piston when air is 
entering as at D 1, and C is the coupling which connects the train pipe from carriage to carriage. 




air-eddy (ar' ed i), 11. A place in space 
where air currents meet and spin round, like 
a whirlpool in water. (F. remous.) 

E. air and eddy. 

air-line (ar' Hn), n. A straight line ; a 
bee-line ; the shortest distance between two 
points. (F. ligne a vol d'abeille.) 

A service of aeroplanes, or airships, flying 
regularly between the air-ports of certain 
towns with passengers, mails, and goods is 
called an air-line. In America this word 
is used of railways which run perfectly 

E. air and line. 

air-lock (ar' lok), n. A chamber which 
prevents the escape of air from a place where 
work is being carried on in air at high pressure, 
but allows men and materials to pass in and 
out ; an obstruction in a water-pipe caused 
by imprisoned air. (F. ecluse a air,.) 

Air-locks are needed as entrances to 
tunnels and under-water spaces where com- 
pressed air must be used to keep water out. 
An air-lock has two doors, one at each end, 
and both opening in the high-pressure direc- 
tion. They are never both open at the same 
lime, and neither can be opened until the 
pressure has been made equal on both sides 
of it, by letting air into or out of the lock 
through valves. 

E. air and lock. 

airman (ar' man), n. A pilot of an aero- 
plane ; an aviator ; an observer or a gunner 
in a war aerop" me. (F. aviatenr.) 

E. air and man. 

air-marshal (ar ' mar shal), n. An 
officer in the Royal Air Force. 

An air-marshal corresponds in rank to a 
vice-admiral in the Navy and a lieutenant: 
general in the Army. The next highest rank 
is air-chief-marshal (ar' chef mar shal, n.), 
equal to admiral in the navy and general in 
the army. The highest rank of all is marshal- 
of-the-air corresponding to admiral-of-the- 
fleet in the navy and field-marshal in the 

E. air and marshal. 

air-mechanic (ar' me kan ik), n. A man 
who looks after the engines of aircraft and 
keeps them in good running order. 

E.aiV and mechanic. 

air-pocket (ar' pok et), n. A downward 
current in the air, which makes an aeroplane 
drop very suddenly when it comes into it. 

I', remous.) 
E. air and pocket. 

air-pump (ar' pump), n. A pump for 
forcing air into, or sucking it from, an en- 
closed chamber. (F. pompe a air.) 

The picture on this page shows a motor-car 
tire being filled with air. The operator with 
his foot in the stirrup (D) pulls the piston- 
rod (A) up to its limit, thus filling the barrel 
|B) with air. By pushing the piston-rod home, 

the air in the barrel is forced by the plunger 
(F) through the check valve (H) and along 
the rubber tube (E) into the tire. When the 
piston-rod is pulled up again the little ball is 
drawn into the valve (H) thus preventing the 
return of the air to the barrel. The pressure 
of air in the tire is registered on the gauge (C). 
E. air and pump. 

air-raid (ar' rad). . A bomb-dropping 
attack by aircraft on towns, camps, harbours, 
or other places of value to the 'enemy. 

E. air and raid. 

air-scout (ar' skout), n. An airman who 
flies about in wartime to watch or find out 
what the enemy is doing by land or sea. 

Air-scouts are also iised for more peaceful 
ends. In Canada and the United States 
they fly over the great forests and keep a 

Air-pump. Pumping air into a motor-car tire. 
See article on this page. 

look-out for forest fires. If an air-scout sees 
a fire he sends news by wireless to the men 
whose duty it is to fight it. 

Air-scouts sometimes go with fishing and 
sealing fleets to find out where the shoals of 
fish or herds of seals are, as these can be 
seen more easily from a machine high up in 
the air than from the deck or mast of a ship. 
In the Austrian Alps air-scouts fly over the 
mountains to help climbers who may have 
lost their way and need help. 

E. air and scout. 

air-shaft (ar' shaft), n. A shaft through 
which foul air is drawn from, or fresh air 
admitted to, a building, mine, or underground 
working. (F. puits d'aerage.) 

E. air and shaft. 




airship (ar' ship), n. A lighter-than-air 
flying machine ; a steerable balloon. (F. 
ballon dirigcable.) 

The earliest attempts at navigating the 
air, as opposed merely to floating in it, were 
carried out with pear-shaped balloons, pro- 
pelled by oars. The shape of the balloon was 
wrong, and the power far too small. The 
first airship flight worthy of the name was 
made in 1852 by a Frenchman named Henri 

Gas Valves 

Roof Ladder 


Smgle Skin of 
Gas tuiht Fabric . 

Petrol Tattks 


Airship. The " Norge," the lighter-than-air flying machine in which Captain 

Roald Amundsen flew over the North Pole in 1926. Part of the skin has been 

removed to show the skeleton of this visitor to the icy wastes. 

" non-rigid " type, having a collapsible bag 
and a car hung from it. The same year 
Count von Zeppelin (1838-1917), a German, 
built the first " rigid " airship. 

This type has a large number of separate 
air-bags inside a stiff aluminium framework, 
encased in an outside envelope. The French 
and Italians have given their attention to a 
third type, the " semi-rigid," in which a 
collapsible bag is stiffened underneath by a 

long girder carrying 

the car. 

An airship is 
driven by a pro- 
peller or propellers 
and steered by flat 
and upright rudders, 
like those of an 
aeroplane. It is 
trimmed, or bal- 
anced fore and aft, 
by movable weights, 
or by pumping water 
from one tank to 
another, or by re- 
leasing ballast. 

An airship, though 
not so fast as an 
aeroplane, has the 
advantage of being 
able to keep aloft 
if its engines break 
down, and to cruise 
at very low speeds. 
It is possible that 
the air-liners of the 
future will be rigid 
airships, moored, 
when not in flight, 
from the tops of tall 

The longest non- 
stop flight yet made 
by an airship is 5,500 
miles, from Bulgaria 
to Central Africa 
and back in 1917. 
In 1919 the British 
" R 34 " flew to 
Xew York and back, 
the return voyage 
taking three days, 
three hours and 
three minutes. On 
.May nth, 1926, the 
Norwegian explorer. 
Captain Roald 

Giffard, in an airship with a long spindle- 
shaped bag driven endways through the air 
by a small steam-engine. The shape was now 
correct, but the power was still insufficient. 
The petrol motor presently provided the 
light and powerful engine needed. Since 
1 898 three types of airships have been devel- 
oped. In 1900 a young Brazilian, Santos 
Dumont, scored the first real success with the 

Amundsen, left 
Spitsbergen in the airship " Norge," passed 
right over the North Pole the following 
day, and landed in Alaska. 

E. air aiid ship. 

airt (art), n. Direction, or a point of the 
compass, as north or south. The term is 
used in Scotland. (F. point cardinal, 

Gaelic, aird point of the compass, Irish ard top. 




air-thermometer (ar' ther mom e ter), 
n. A thermometer in which the expansion 
and contraction of air is used to show changes 
in temperature. (F. thermomctre atmos- 

The thermometer is a glass tube bent into 
U form, and having one leg much larger 
across than the other. The " fat " leg is 
filled with air ; the bend and part of the thin 
leg with sulphuric acid. As the air expands 
or contracts the acid rises and falls in the 
smaller tube, which is graduated or marked 
off in degrees. 

E. air and thermometer. 

air-tight (ar' tit), adj. Having no open- 
ings through which air can pass inwards or 
outwards. (F. impermeable cl I'air.) 

E. air and tight. 

air- trap (ar' trap), n. A chamber con- 
taining water which prevents foul air passing 
from a drain into a house. 

The trap usually is a U-shaped bend in the 
pipe. The top of the bend is below the bottom 
of the line of the pipe, so that the bend is 
always full of water and blocks the way to air 
or gas. 

E. air and trap. 

air-vessel (ar'ves 1), n. A tube or vessel 
containing air. See air-chamber. 

airway (ar' wa), n. A path or route in 
the air along which aircraft fly at fixed times 
from one place to another, with mails and 
passengers ; a passage for ventilation in a 
mine. (F. voie d'aerage.) 

An ainvay differs, from a roadway or rail- 
way in that it has no track that we can see. ' 
But when we speak of an airway we do not 
think only of the line or route. We have in 
mind also the landing and starting grounds 
at each end and at points between, and every- 
thing done to help aircraft flying along the 
airway. In effect, therefore, an airway is 
made by what is done on the ground along 
the route. 

At present most airways are used by day 
only, but some of them have been, and are 
being, marked out by beacons, so that an 
airman may find his way along them easily 
in the dusk or at night. 

In the United States of America there is 
a great airway from New York to San Fran- 
cisco along which mails are carried. So that 
aircraft shall not be delayed at night, the 
middle part of the airway has lighthouses set 
200 miles apart, each sending out a beam of 
light equal to that of 450,000,000 candles. 
Between these are smaller lighthouses, 25 to 
30 miles apart ; and between them again 
small beacons at every third mile. 

There are now airways between many of the 
great cities of Europe and of America. Very 
likely we shall live to see one reaching from 
England to Egypt, India, Australia, and New 
Zealand, and perhaps from England to 

aisle (Il),.. The side portions of any part 
of a church, whether nave, transept or choir. 
The word has come to be applied in error to 
a passage between the seats or pews of a 
church, and the central passage is-- often 
wrongly called the " middle aisle." (F. ailc.) 

O.F. aisle, from L. ala (from axilla) a wing. 
Originally spelt ilc, aile, s is due to a confusion 
with isle (island). 

E. air and way. 

Aisle. One of the aisles of the eleventh century 
cathedral of Siena, Italy. 

ait (at), n. A small island, especially one 
in a river or lake. " Chiswick ait " in the 
Thames is well-known as an important point 
in the course of the Oxford and Cambridge 
boat race. Eyot is another form of spelling. 
(F. Hot.) 
A.-S. iggat/i, perhaps dim. of ig, ieg, island. 

aitchbone (ach'bon), n. A joint of beef 
cut from below the rump. (F.cimier, tranche 
an petit os.) 

Formerly and more correctly it was called 
a naitchbbne as adder was nadder. This 
is a cheap joint on account of the large 
bone it contains, but is nevertheless a good 
joint either for roasting or boiling. By a 
further corruption of its name it is sometimes 
known as the edge bone. 

O.F. nachc, from L.L. naticae, from L. nates 
buttocks, and bone. 

ajar (a jar'), adv. Partly opened (used 
of doors) ; in disagreement, disturbed (of 
nerves). (F. cntr'ouvert, en disaccord.) 

There is a well-known conundrum in which 
this word appears : " When is a door not a 
door? " The answer is " When it is ajar 

(i) A.-S. a- =on, cierr, M.E. chcr turn (of work ; 
cp. charwoman) ; (2) probably from a- =on, in, 
and jar discordant sound (imitative). 




akimbo (ii kim' bo), adv. In an 
attitude with knuckles resting on hips and 
elbows thrust outwards, usually expressive of 
independence and defiance. (F. stir /a 

M.E. in kcncboive, in a sharp (kcne) bend like 
that of a bow ; or perhaps from cam (Gaelic 
Irish, Welsh) crooked. 

akin (a kin'), adj. Related by blood, 
hence of things closely related in other ways. 
Thus we say pity is akin to love. (F. parent 
de, a Hie a.) 

E. a- =of, and fun. 

alabaster (al a bas' ter), n. A valuable 
soft stone out of which small statues and 
ornaments are carved, adj. Made or of the 
colour of alabaster. (F. albdtre, d'albdtrc.) 
Alabaster was 
formerly used as the 
name for various 
valuable stones, but 
it is now applied 
o n 1 y to massive 
gypsum, or sulphate 
of lime, occurring 
not as powder 
(plaster of Paris) but 
as solid lumps. It is 
found in many parts 
of the world. A 
famous quarry in 
T u s c a n y, near 
Florence, has made 
that city the centre 
of the alabaster 
trade. In England 
it occurs chiefly in 
Derbyshire and 
Staffordshire, but is 
tli ere ground to form 
the plaster of Paris 
from which moulds 
for pottery are 
made. Hence it is 
called potter's stone. 
Oriental alabaster 
is a carbonate of 
lime, found as a 
deposit on the floors 
of limestone caves. 
The alabaster box, or vial, of ointment 
mentioned in Matthew xxvi, 7, was probably 
of this material. True alabaster is very soft, 
can be scratched with the finger nail, and has 
a pearly-white lustre. 

O.F. and M.E. alabastre. from Gr. alabastron. 
L. alabaster, alabastrum. 

alack (a lak'), inter. An exclamation of 
sorrow generally expressing a loss of some- 
thing or someone dear. (F. helas.) 

The longer form alackaday (a lak' a da) 
has the same meaning, but was regarded 
as too sentimental, whence arose the word 

A =ah, and /acA=want. 

alacrity (a lak' ri ti), n. Quickness ; 
briskness. (F. alacrite, allegresse.) 

Alabaster. An Egyptian 

figure of alabaster made 

about 500 B.C. It is in 

the British Museum. 

Used chiefly of persons. To do a thing with 
alacrity means to do it with cheerful eager- 
ness. The word is akin to the allegro and 
allegretto which mark quick, cheerful passages 
in music. 

L. alacritatem (ace. of alacritas), from alacci 
(earlier also alacrls), keen, lively. 

alamo de (a la mod'), adj. and adv. 
Fashionable ; up-to-date ; fashionably, u. 
A variety of black silk. (F. a la mode.) 

This is a French word, or rather three 
words a la mode, in the fashion. It is used 
chiefly of dress, and was the name given to a 
glossy, black silk material imported from 
Lyons. In cookery it describes a special 
method of stewing meat and serving it up 
with thick, rich gravy. 

alarm (a larm'), n. A call to arms ; a 
call to quick action in any danger ; a means 
of calling anyone ; excitement, v.t. To call 
to action ; to cause excitement or fear. 
(F.alarme ; aJarmer, rc'veiller.) 

Alarm. A soldier sounding an alarm in the Franco- 
German war of 1870-71. 

Before electricity had provided means of 
rapid communication with distant places it 
was no easy task to arouse a body of men 
to a sense of danger. Church bells or alarm- 
bells ( were rung loudly and quickly to 
warn people of fires or of the approach of 
enemies. In Macaulay's poem on the Armada 
\ve have a graphic description of how the 
news of its coming was spread by beacon 
fires on hill-tops and towers. Messengers on 
horseback scoured the country. In Scotland 




swift runners bore a fiery cross from hamlet 
to hamlet. 

Modern methods are less exciting, but far 
more effective. The postman generally 
brings the call to arms, or mobilization papers 
as they are now termed. In pressing cases 
it may be the telegraph boy, while in future 
the call will be emphasized by wireless broad- 
casting. Guns and maroons are means of 
arousing the hearers to the need for help and 
are chiefly employed by vessels in danger oft 
our coasts. 

Fire alarm is usually given by means of 
bells placed in special boxes on pillars in the 
street, but a run to the nearest telephone and 
a call of " Fire-brigade " is equally effective. 
Xo number need be asked for, but the address 
of the place on fire should be given as soon 
as there is a reply. These events all cause 
excitement, and hence alarm sometimes has 
that meaning, as in " needless alarm," 
" cause for alarm," " don't be alarmed." 
One who arouses excitement needlessly is 
called an alarmist (a larm' ist, n.). 

An even milder use of the word is provided 
by the harmless but useful alarm-clock (a 
larm' klok, n.} and the smaller alarm-watch 
(a larm' wotsh, n.), which ring loudly at the 
hour for which they are set to go off. Such a 
warning is known as an alarum (a lar ' urn, n.) 
a word also used by poets and play-writers 
to express any confused or alarming (a larm ' 
ing, part, adj.) noises. 

Ital. all' arme = alle arme, L. ad (ilia) arma to 
(those) arms ! In early E. also written all arm ! 
as if it were a command to all to arm. 

alas (a las'), inter. An exclamation of 
sorrow, dismay, or regret, as " Alas, poor 
Yorick ! " (F. helas.) 

F. a inter., las, L. lassus, tired. 

Alastor (a las' tor), n. An avenging god ; 
an evil destiny. (F. alastor.) ' 

The Greeks long ago discovered the truth 
of the saying, " Be sure your sins will find 
you out." Instead, however, of seeing that 
harm done to a man's own character is the 
worst punishment of sin, they considered that 
one of their many gods was the means by 
which this was effected, and to that god they 
gave the name Alastor, which means " he 
who does not forget." 

Gr. a not, lathe sthai to forget ( = Alathtor) ; 
or perhaps, " one who drives men astray," from 
alasthai to wander. 

alb (alb), n. A long white robe worn by 
priests. (F. aube.) 

Formerly the alb was the garment worn 
by those about to be baptized into the 
Christian church and was regarded as a 
symbol of the purification obtained by- 
baptism. It is distinguished from the open 
sleeved surplice by having sleeves with 
closely fitting wristbands. 

L. albus, alba white (with tunica understood). 

albacore (SI ' ba kor) , n . A large oceanic 
fish allied to the mackerel and the tunny. 
(F. albacore.) 

Though seldom seen near land this fish is 
well known to seamen. It follows sailing 
vessels in large shoals, and often furnishes 
the sailors with excellent sport and a welcome 
change of diet. It grows to some 50* Ibs. in 
weight, and has a fine set of teeth. Its 
magnificent swimming, by which it can leap 
five or six feet out of the water, provides a 
fine spectacle to the ocean traveller. Its 
scientific name is Thunnns albacora. 

Span., Port., of Arabic, origin, from al the, 
bukr young cow, from its size and appearance. 

albata (al ba' ta), n. An alloy, or metallic 
mixture of nickel, copper, and zinc. (F. 

This is commonly known as German silver 
and is used chiefly for making cheap spoons 
and forks. 

L. albatus whitened, p.p. of albare to whiten. 

albatros (al' ba tros), 77. One of the 
chief types of German aeroplane used during 
the World War. (F. albatros.) 

The original albatros was a biplane with a 
tractor screw and rounded tail. Later types 
have included seaplanes and monoplanes, 
some of great size. 

G. albatros, so named after the bird. 

Albatross. Found chiefly in southern seas, this 
hardy bird will follow a ship for days. 

albatross (al'. ba tros), n. A large sea- 
bird of the petrel family. (F. albatros.) 

The wandering albatross, Diomedea exulans, 
the largest and best known of this group of 
birds, is found chiefly in southern seas, often 
at great distances from land. Its enormous 
wings, sometimes stretching to more than 15 
feet from tip to tip, give it wonderful powers 
of flight and it will follow the swiftest vessels 
for hours, and sometimes days, at a time. 

Its large strong beak, with sharply hooked 
tip, enables it to grasp firmly the fish on 
which it feeds. Its one or two eggs are laid 
on the bare earth in quiet spots ashore. 
Sailors believe that the killing of an albatross 
will bring them ill-fortune, and on this 
tradition Coleridge founded his well-known 
poem, " The Ancient Mariner." 

Port, alcatras pelican, ultimately from Arab. 
al-gadus bucket, from carrying water in its pouch 
(b for g from supposed connexion with L. albus 
white) . 




Albert. A watch-chain 

named after Prince 


albeit (awl be' it), conj. Though it be ; 
notwithstanding ; although. Used chiefly in 
poetry, and only twice throughout the Bible. 
(F. neanmoins, quoique.) 

Albeit = all (adv. even), though (omitted) it be. 
albert (al' bert), n. A kind of watch- 
chain. (F. albert?) 

Before the introduction of wrist watches 
alberts were very fashionable. The single 
and original type is 
a chain of gold or 
silver attached to 
the watcli ring at 
one end and fastened 
by a short bar to a 
buttonhole of the 
waistcoat at the 
other. The double 
albert has the bar in 
the centre, and 
stretches across the 
waistcoat from 
pocket to pocket. 

This style of watch- 
chain was named 
after Prince Albert, 
the husband ot 
Queen Victoria, who 
is commemorated by the Albert Hall and 
Albert Memorial, London. His title was 
changed to Prince Consort in 1857. 

albescent (al bes' ent), adj. Whitish or 
becoming white. The term is used by 

L. albescens (gen. -entis), pres. p. of albescer. 
to grow white. 

Albigenses (al bi jen' sez), n. A sect of 
religious reformers of the twelfth and 
thirteenth centuries. (F. A Ibigeois.) 

The Albigenses took their name from the 
town of Albi or Albiga, in the south of France. 
Their doctrines came from the east by way of 
Italy. Their spread was so rapid and their 
opposition to the Roman Church so successful 
that in 1209 Pope Innocent III proclaimed a 
crusade, or holy war, against them. 

The crusaders were led by Simon de Mont- 
tort, father of the Simon so well known in 
English history. The terrible sufferings 
experienced by the Albigenses in the course of 
this crusade, which lasted twenty years, has 
caused their memory to survive. 

albino (al be' no), n. A human being or 
lower animal of much paler colour than is 
usual. (F. albinos.} 

Cases of this kind are found among all 
animals, the best known examples being 
rabbits and mice. For some reason they have 
lost all the colouring matter found in other 
animals of the same species. Even their eyes 
are colourless, but appear pink from the fact 
that the blood vessels at the back of them 
show through. The loss of the protection 
provided by the dark iris causes the eyes of 
albinos to be easily affected by strong light. 

A female with these characters is^sometimes 
called an albiness (al' bi nes, n.), and the 

condition is known as albinism (al' bi nizm, 
n.). It occurs occasionally among human 
beings and is especially striking in negroes 
and dark races. Numerous examples have 
been reported from Central America. An 
interesting example of albinism is that of 
the white elephants, which are regarded by 
the inhabitants of Siam as of divine origin. 
Span., Port., Ital., from L. albus white. 

Albino. A negress of a much paler colour than is 
usual, with a friend who is not an albiness. 

Albion (al' bi on), n. Another name for 
En gland, used formerly by the Greeks and 
Romans, and now in poetry. (F. Albion.) 

In ancient times the usual approach to 
England was across the Strait of Dover, or 
some near part of the English Channel. 
Anyone who has made this crossing must 
have noticed how the white chalk cliffs of 
Kent and Sussex rise up to meet the 
approaching visitor, and hence it can easily 
be understood how our island in ancient 
times gained the name of Albion, or " The 
White Land." The name is by some 
supposed to be of Celtic origin. 

albite (al' bit), n. A mineral of the 
felspar group, usually white in colour. It is 
found in many granite rocks. The gems 
known as moonstones are often composed of 
albite. (F. albite.) 

L. albus white. 

album (al' bum), n. A book ot plain 
paper for the insertion of verses, autographs, 
stamps, photographs, etc. (F. album.) 

In photograph albums the leaves are often 
composed of several layers, the outermost 
of which are provided with cut-out ovals, 
circles, and squares, and with slits, so that 
the photographs may be slid between the 
layers and exposed to view through the cut- 
out spaces. At the end of the nineteenth 
century such albums were very fashionable 
and formed one of the chief ornaments of 
every drawing room. Portraits of the family 
and of friends were their main contents. 

In ancient Rome the chief priest, or 
Pontifex Maximus, had the task of recording 




the chief events of his times. These he wrote 
down on white tablets, which first gave rise 
to the name album. Later it was applied to 
other records, such as the list of judges, of 
senators, and other officers. In the Middle 
Agesthe term was used for the list of saints 
and saints' days observed in the Roman 
Catholic Church. Now it is used only in 
the sense given in the definition above. 

L. album, n., a white tablet. 

albumen (3.1 bu ' men) . White of egg ; 
a similar substance found in vegetable and 
animal bodies. (F. albumine.) 

Albumen. The white portion of this section of an 
egg is the substance called albumen. 

When we use the word albumen we gener- 
ally mean white of egg. Albumin (al bu' 
min) is the chemical name for this class of 
substances, one of which forms the most 
important ingredient of white of egg. 

Albumin is an organic substance, that is, 
it occurs only in living, or organized, things ; 
but all living things contain it in some form. 
It consists of oxygen, nitrogen, hydrogen, 
carbon, and sulphur in varying proportions. 
The last is the cause of the blackening of 
silver spoons if xised for eating eggs. A 
peculiarity of fluid albumin is that it becomes 
solid and opaque when heated, as is seen in 
boiled eggs. 

In plants albumin occurs especially in the 
seeds, between the embryo, or plant germ, 
and the seed coat. The eatable part of the 
coconut consists chiefly of albumin. Such 
materials are called albuminous (al bu' min 
us, adj.) or albuminose (al bu' min 6s, adj.). 
Substances resembling them or of like nature 
are albuminoid (al bu' min oid, adj. and n.) 
or albuminoidal (al bu min oid' al, adj.). 
Albumen has been used in photography for 
the coating of sensitized plates and paper, 
which are then said to be albumenized (al bu' 
men izd, p.p.). To albuminize (al bu' min 
iz, v.t.) is to turn into albumin. 

L. albumen white of egg, from albus white. 

alburnum (al ber' niirn), n. The outer and 
younger layer of wood in the trunk or branch 
of a tree. (F. aubier.) 

The growth of trees in thickness takes 
place in most cases just under the bark. 
Here there is a layer of cells forming what is 

called the cambium, and thess are constantly 
dividing. On their inner side they give rhe 
to the cells which form the wood. The oldest 
wood cells are therefore in the centre and form 
the heart-wood, while outside llisre are 
younger cells which have not yet attained 
their full hardness or colour. These form the 
alburnum, and their cells are called alburnous 
(al ber' mis, adj.}. The word alburnum is 
sometimes spelt alburn (al' bern). 

L. albus white. 

alcaliest (al' ka best), n. The universal 
solvent of the alchemists. See alkahest. 

alcaic (al ka/ ik), adj. Relating to 
Alcaeus or to the kinds of verse said to have 
been first used by him. (F. alcaique.) 

Alcaeus of Mytilene in Lesbos was a Greek 
lyric poet who lived about 600 B.C. The 
famous Roman poet Horace wrote many of 
his odes in alcaics (al ka' iks, 

alcayde (al kad'), n. The title given to 
the governor of a castle or prison in Spain, 
Portugal, and the parts of northern Africa 
near to them. (F. alcade.) 

This word is of Arabic origin, and reminds 
us of the times when the Arabs, or Moors, 
ruled all northern Africa and had also crossed 
the Strait of Gibraltar into Europe. 

Arab., from al the, qdid commander. 

Alchemist. An alchemist of the Middle Ages seeking; 
to turn common metals into gold. 

alchemy (al' ke mi), n. The art of 
chemistry as practised from remote times in 
the East to the close of the Middle Ages 
in Europe. (F. alchimie.) 

The followers of alchemy aimed at finding 
the " philosopher's stone," which, it was 
thought, would turn common metals into, 
silver or gold, and, dissolved in alcohol, would 
make the " elixir of life," a means of enabling 
people to live a very long time. They also 
tried to find the alkahest, or universal solvent, 
and the panacea, or universal remedy.- 

The word alchemy was once used for an 
alloy looking like gold and for any article, such 
as a trumpet, made of it ; and for any 




process which makes a change that seems 
miraculous. Thus we speak of the alchemy 
of Art or of Nature. To alchemize (al' ke 
miz, v .t.) is to change a thing as if by magic. 

In 1783 there died a man named James 
Price who is sometimes called the last of the 
alchemists (al' ke mists, He was a 
rich and able chemist who claimed to have 
made silver and gold. When he failed to make 
good his claim he killed himself in the pres- 
ence of three members of the Royal Society. 

A process to attain the ends of alchemy- 
would .be alchemic (al kem' ik, adj.), al- 
chemical (al kem' ik al, adj.), alchemistic 
(al ke mis' tik, adj.), or alchemistical (al kc 
mis' tik al, adj.), and something done after 
the manner of alchemy would be done 
alchemically (al kem' i kal li, adv.). 

Arab, al-k'imla, from al the, and either Egyptian 
fi/iem Egypt, hence " the Egyptian art," or Gr. 
khymeia mixing, decoction (from khein to pour). 

alcohol (al' ko hoi), n. A liquid obtained 
by distilling wine and other liquids of 
vegetable origin ; spirits of wine ; any 
intoxicating drink. (F. alcool.) 

A liquid containing sugar acted upon by 
yeast at a temperature of 60 F. has its sugar 
converted into alcohol. This is how all intoxi- 
cating drinks are made. If the liquid be 
gently heated the alcohol will be distilled, or 
given off as vapour, which may be collected. 
There are many kinds of alcohol, but ethyl 
alcohol is that to which the name is most 
often applied. 

Spirits consist of nearly one half alcohol ; 
heavy wines, such as port, of about one 
fourth ; light wines and beer about one tenth 
or less. All these are called alcoholic (al ko 
hoi' ik, adj.) drinks. Great harm is done by 
over-indulgence in such liquids. Their action 
upon the human system, the habit of taking 
them to excess, and the condition caused by 
this habit are all known as alcoholism (al' ko 
hoi izm, 11.). To alcoholize (al' kohol iz, v.t.) 
means to turn into or to mix with alcohol, to 
intoxicate, and to purify spirits, and the act 
itself is called alcoholization (al ko hoi I 
za' shun, n.). Alcoholometry (al ko hoi 
om' ct ri, n.) is the process of finding the. 
strength of pure alcohol, and the instrument 
used for this purpose is an alcoholometer (al 
ko hoi om' et er, n.). 

Arab, al-kohl, from al the, kohl antimony 
powder, originally used to blacken the eyebrows ; 
hence, any finely powdered substance ; later, any 
product of distillation. 

alcove (al' kov), n. An arched recess ; 
a, summer house. (F. alcove.) 

Arab, al-gobbah, from al the, gobah vault, tent, 
Span, alcoba, O.F. aucube. 

aldehyde (al' de hid), n. A fluid ob- 
tained from an alcohol by adding oxygen to 
it, but not in sufficient quantity to form an 
acid ; a class of compounds of this type. 
(F. aldehyde.) 

Some of the aldehydes are of importance 
in industry, such as formaldehyde, which is a 

valuable disinfectant and preserving fluid. 
Aldehydic (al de hid' ik, adj.) means relating 
to the aldehydes. 

The word is a contraction 'of alcohol dehydro- 
genatum, alcohol deprived of hydrogen. 

alder (awl' der), n. A common English 
tree which thrive^ in moist situations. (F. 

The alder is allied to the beech, having 
similar oval, but pointed leaves, with saw- 
like edges. -Its flowers are catkins appear- 
ing before the leaves in March and April. 
The female catkins have brilliant red stigmas. 
The tree grows from 40 to 60 feet in height. 
Its timber is soft, but resists water so well 
that it is much used for piles. Venice and 
Amsterdam are largely built on alder piles. 
The scientific name of the common alder is 
Alnus glutinosa. 

A.-S. aler, alor, M.E. alter, alder ; cp. G. Eric, 
L. alnus. 

alderman (awl' der man), n. An officer 
in local government ranking next below the 
mayor. (F. alderman.) 

In Anglo-Saxon times alderman meant a 
prince or chief. Thus King Cedric of 
Wessex (died 534) was known as alderman. 
The counties were ruled by aldermen, but the 
title became changed into " earl." Now only 
cities and boroughs have aldermen, who are 
chosen by the councillors and from whom 
the mayor is selected each year. 

Collectively they are known as the 
aldermanate (awl' der man at, .), their 
office is the aldermanship (awl' der man ship.^ 
11.), and the part of the borough with which 
each is associated is an aldermanry (awl' der 
man ri, n.). Their robes are aldermanic (awl 
der man' ik, adj.] and their behaviour should 
be aldermanly (awl' der man li, adj.] or 
aldermanlike (awl' der man Ilk, adj.). 

A.-S. ealdorman elder or chief man. A con- 
nexion with L. altor nourisher (from alere to bring 
up) lias been suggested. 

Alderney. One of the famous breed of cattle that 
is the pr-de of the Channel island of the same name. 

Alderney (awl' der ni), n. The third in 
sixe of the Channel Islands ; breed of 
cattle. (F. Aurigny.) 

Alderneys are small but beautiful cattle, 
soft brown in colour and splendid milkers. 




Alert. Starting on their race the instant they heard the crack of the pistol, these athletes have proved 

themselves to be alert in body and mind. 

Their milk contains far more cream than is 
usual with other cows. 

Aldine (awl' dm), adj. Of or relating 
to or printed by the firm of Aldus Manutius ; 
the name of a kind of printing type. n. A 
book from the Aldine Press ; one of a series 
of finely produced modern books. 

Aldus Manutius (1450-1515) was the 
founder of the famous Aldine Press at 
Venice. To him we owe the earliest editions 
in print of the great classical writers of 
Greece and Rome. 

ale (al), n. A kind of light-coloured beer. 
(F. ale.) 

Ale is an intoxicating drink made from 
pale malt, which gives it its light colour. 
The malt is fermented and flavoured with 
hops. A drink made from barley, which was 
probably a kind of ale, is mentioned in the 
writings of the Greek historian Herodotus, 
who lived about four centries before 

An ale-bench (al' bench, n.) is a bench 
outside or inside a public-house, intended for 
people to sit on while drinking ale or other 
liquors. An ale-conner (al' kon er, n.) is an 
examiner or inspector of ale. There is a 
plant called alecost (al' kost, n.), also known 
as costmary, which at one time was used to 
flavour ale. An ale-house (al' hous, n.) is 
a house where ale is sold. An ale-taster (al' 
tast er, n.) is the same as an ale-conner. An 
alewife (al' wif, n.) is the landlady of an 
ale-house or place where ale is sold. See 

A.-S. ealu, cp. Scand. 61. 

alee (a le), adv. On or in the direction 
of the lee or sheltered side of a ship. (F. 
sous le vent.) 

This is a term used especially on sailing 
ships. When these change their course they 
either tack or wear. In the latter case the 
ship turns till the wind is right ahead, and 
then the sails are swung over to the opposite 

side and the ship goes off on her new course. 
The time to swing the sails is usually given 
by the steersman's call of " Helm's alee ! " 
This means that the rudder is against the 
sheltered side of the ship. 

Small boats approach a large vessel alee, 
and are moored there when not hauled up 
out of the water. 

E. a- =on, and lee. 

alembic (a lem' bik), n. A glass or 
copper vessel formerly used in distilling. 
(F. alambique.) 

This word is little used now, except in a 
poetical or figurative sense, such as the 
alembic of happiness or the alembic of 
imagination. In pictures of alchemists, the 
chemists of the Middle Ages, there is usually 
an alembic among the litter of strange 

L.L. alambicus, from Arab, al-itnblg, Gr. 
ambix cup. 

alert (a lert'), adj. Wide-awake, keenly 
watching and listening ; quick to observe 
and act ; brisk, n. A warning against a 
surprise attack ; such an attack. (F. alerte.} 

A good house-dog is alert, ready to give 
warning at the slightest sound. In school a 
class is alert during an interesting lesson ; 
it may be drowsy and inattentive when the 
subject is dull. Alert young people some- 
times fidget during a long sermon, but they 
attend alertly (a lert' li, adv.) when a Sunday 
School treat is announced. Alertness (a lert' 
nes, n.) in Boy Scouts means that they are 
living up to their motto, " Be Prepared," 
and " alert ! " is their drill word for " atten- 
tion ! " Red Indians on the warpath or 
soldiers on sentry-go are said to be on the 
alert for danger. 

The word alert was acquired by French 
soldiers during their invasions of Italy in the 
sixteenth century, and is thus a war word, 
like the many foreign expressions that the 




British soldiers brought into our language 
during the World War of 1914-18. 

Ital. all' erta on guard (erta, watch tower), 
ultimately from L. crecta, p.p. of erigere to erect. 
SYN. : Active, lively, prepared, ready, vigilant. 
AXT. : Dull, heavy, stupid, unwary, unwatchful. 

aleurone (a lur' on), n. An albuminoid 
substance made up of very tiny, solid 
particles found in the ripening seeds of 
wheat and other cereals. (F. aleurone.) 

Gr. aleuron ground meal. 

ale-wife (al' wif), n. A North American 
fish of the same family as the herring. (F. 
gasparet, gaspereau.) 

The alewife is found in abundance on the 
Atlantic coast of North America. It is from 
about eight to ten inches long, and is used 
as food. The name is possibly a corruption 
of the French alose, a shad. 

alexandrine (al eg zan' drin), n. A line 
of verse of twelve syllables with stress on the 
even syllables; verse of this kind. adj. Re- 
lating to such verse. (F. alexandrin.} 

This is the favourite metre of the French 
classical poets. It is not much used by 
English poets, except for the last lias of a 
stanza, as in Byron's " Childe Harold": 

But hark ! that heavy sound breaks in once 

As if the clouds its echo would repeat ; 

And nearer, clearer, deadlier than before ! 

Arm ! Arm ! It is it is the cannon's opening 
roar ! 

The name is probably derived from an old 
French poem on Alexander the Great. 

alfalfa (al faF fa), n. Another name for 
lucerne. (F. luzcrne.) 

This plant is related to the vetch. It has 
oval leaves and a pretty purple flower, and is 
very valuable for pasture and hay. Its very 
long roots enable it to withstand droughts 
which would kill ordinary grasses. In hot 
climates it will yield from six to eight crops 
a year, if supplied with enough w^ater. 

Alfalfa may often be seen growing on the 
sides of railway cuttings, where its long 
roots help to prevent the earth from slipping 
down. It is a very important fodder crop 
in the United States and the Argentine. 

Arab, alfasfasa a valuable fodder plant. 

alfresco (al fres' ko), adv. and adj. In the 
open air, especially of a meal taken out of 
doors. (F. en plein air.} 

In fine weather we can lunch alfresco 
in the garden, or have an alfresco tea. 
A true picnic is always alfresco, but some- 
times the word picnic is used carelessly to 
describe any informal meal. 

Ital. al fresco in the open air ; cp. Eng. 

Alfresco. This word means " in the open air," and a picnic such 
as this is an alfresco pleasure party. 


Algae. Two seaweeds which are sometimes eaten, 
dulse (left) and sea lettuce. 

alga (al' ga), n. A seaweed ; a plant be- 
longing to the division which includes sea- 
weeds and certain freshwater plants. (F. 

Living in the seas and rivers there are 
certain plants of a green, brown or red 
colour in which we find the green colouring 
matter called chlorophyll. These are algae 
(al' ge ; al' je, Any kind of seaweed 
may be spoken of as an algous (al' gus, adj.) 
or algal (al' gal, adj.) plant, and any plant 
of a similar nature is algoid (al' goid, adj.) 

That part of botany that tells us about 
these plants is algology (al gol' 6 ji, n.), and 
one who studies it is called an algologist (al 
gol'' 6 jist, n.) or an algist (al' jist, .) 

L. alga seaweed. 

algebra (al' je bra), n. Universal arith- 
metic. (F. algebre.) 

A branch of mathematics in which letters 
are used as symbols instead of numbers, and 
algebraic (al je bra' ik, adj.) or algebraical 
(al je bra' ik al) signs for processes. Thus 
+ means add, - - subtract, = 
equals, ab means a multiplied by 


b, -means x divided by v, a* 


is the square of a, a 3 the cube 
of a, a 4 is a raised to the fourth 
power, and so on. ^a is the 
square root of a. By algebra 
calculations can be made which 
can be applied quite generally. 
Thus if the sides of a rect- 
angle are a and b units of 
length, its area is always ab units 
of area. 

Algebra can also be used for 
solving problems by forming 
equations or statements of 



equality. Let us algebraize (al' je bra iz, 
v.t.), that is, solve by algebra, the following 
simple problem : 

What is the number of which a half, a 
quarter, and a third make 39 ? 

Let x stand for the unknown number. 
Algebraically (al je bra' ik al li, adv.] stated : 


-+-+-= 39 

Multiply both sides by 12, to get rid of the 
fractions, and it will still be true : 
6x + 3* + 4^=468 
or 13^=468 

Therefore x 36, which .solves the 


There is some doubt as to the origin of 
the science, but there were skilled algebraists 
(al' je bra ists,} or algebrists (al' je 
brists, in India and Arabia before the 
ninth century A.D. 

Arab, al the, jabr reuniting. 

Algerine (al' jer en), adj. Of or belong- 
ing to or relating to Algiers or Algeria, in 
North Africa, n. A native of Algiers or 
Algeria ; a pirate. (F. algerien.) 

For some hundreds of years the Algerine 
pirates were a terror to the peoples living on 
the shores of the Mediterranean Sea. So 
much was this the case that Algerine came 
to be another word for pirate. The most 
famous of these pirates were the two brothers 

Algerine. A warrior of the great French colony 
of Algeria, in North Africa. 

named Barbarossa (Red Beard), who again 
and again defeated fleets sent against them. 
The elder, Arouj, was killed in 1518 ; the 
younger, Khair-ed-Din, died in 1546. 

algum (al' gum), n. A tree referred to in 
the Bible (II Chronicles ii, 8). (F. algummin.) 

The algum tree is apparently the same as 
the almug (I Kings, x, 11-12), which is 
probably a wrong spelling. It was brought 
from Ophir and was used for making pillars 
for the temple at Jerusalem and the king's 
house. It is probably the red sandal-wood 
of India. 

Alhambra. Looking towards the Court of Lions 
in the great Moorish palace of Granada in Spain. 

Alhambra (al ham' bra), n. The Moorish 
palace and fort at Granada in Spain. (F. 

Hundreds of years ago Spain was ruled by 
the Mohammedan Moors, one of whose cities 
was Granada. Here, in the year 1264, they 
began the splendid building the Arabic name 
of which was al-hamra, or the red house, so 
called from the colour of the bricks used. 

Any building which is built to resemble the 
Alhambra is said to be alhambresque (al ham 
bresk', adj.). 

alias (a/ li as), adv. Otherwise named. 
n. A name used instead of one's own. 
(F. faux nom, pseudonyme.) 

This word is generally used for a name 
adopted for an unworthy purpose. Criminals 
sometimes hide their real name under an 
alias or more than one alias, in their attempts 
to keep out of the clutches of the law. 
Writers and actors often use a different 
name. Henry Irving's real name was 
Henry Brodribb, and Lewis Carroll, the 
author of " Alice in Wonderland," was in 
private life the Rev. C. L. Dodgson. Names 
like this are actually aliases, but when they 
are not used with any bad motive they are 
usually called pseudonyms. 

L. alias, adv., in another way, from alius 




alibi (al' i bi), n. A form of defence in 
which a person accused of a crime sets out 
to prove that he was in some other place 
when the offence was committed. (F. 

L. alibi in another place, from alins other, with 
suffix -bi. 

alidad (al' i dad), n. A pointer or index 
showing degrees on certain instruments, such 
as the theodolite used by surveyors for 
measuring. (F. alidade.} 

The word is also spelt alidade (al' i dad) 
and in various other ways. 

Arab, al 'idada revolving radius (from ' 'adad 
upper arm). 

alien (a/ li en), adj. Foreign ; strange ; 
not natural ; not appropriate. . A foreigner. 
(F. etrange ; ctranger.) 

Many words in the English language coma 
from Italy ; they are of alien origin. De- 
ception is alien to an honest man. Funeral 
marches are alien to wedding festivals. A 
foreigner living in this country is an alien, 
unless he is naturalized, 
and so is an Englishman 
in any country outside 
the British Empire. 
Private possessions, such 
as lands, which we have 
the right to hand over 
to a stranger, possess 
the quality of alienability 
(a li en a bil' i ti, n.), and 
so property that can 
change ownership is 
alienable (a' li en abl, 

By behaving badly we 
may alienate (a/ li en at, 
v.t.) the affections of a 
friend, and cause him to 
turn away from us, his 
feelings becoming alien- 
ate (a' li en at, adj.). 
Both the act and the 
resulting relationship 
would be alienation (a li 
en a' shun, .) . Lawyers 
describe the formal 
transfer of an estate 
from one person to an- 
other as alienation ; it 
is the reverse of inheri- 
tance. Alienation also 
means madness, suggest- 
ing alienation of mind. 
A person who alienates a friend is the 
alienator (a/ li en a tor, n.). In fun we say 
that a thief is an alienator of property. Ths 
legal name for a person to whom the owner- 
ship of property is transferred is alienee 
(a/ li en e, n.). Unnaturalized foreigners live 
here in alienism (a/ li en izm, n.). The 
practice of introducing foreign words and 
places into a speech or a piece of writing is 
known as alienism, and by alienism we also 
mean the treatment and studv of madness. 


Anyone skilled or engaged in this work is an 
alienist (a' li en ist, .), or " mad-doctor." 

An amusing alien question arose when 
England and Scotland were united in the 
reign of James I. Were the Scotch aliens ? 
The decision, after a long and solemn trial, 
was that those born before the union of 1603 
were aliens while those born after were 
British subjects. 

O.F. alien, from L. alienus foreign, belonging 
to another. SYN. : Distant, opposed, remote, 
unconnected, unlike. ANT. : Akin, appropriate, 
germane, pertinent, relevant. 

aliform (a'Ti form), adj. Shaped like a 
bird's wing. This word is ussd especially by- 
scientists to describe the shape of parts of th? 
human body, of plants, etc. (F. ali forme.,), 

L. ala wing, forma form, shape. 

alight [i] (a lit'), r.i. To get down ; to 
reach the ground ; to come to rest ; to 
fall or strike (upon anything) ; to come unex- 
pectedly (on). (F. desce ndre ; tomber sur.) 
At the end of a journey, we say, " This is 
where we alight." We 
then alight from the 
train, and so alight upon 
the platform. We peer 
into the luggage van 
until our eyes alight on 
our trunks. A bird 
alights upon a bough. A 
blow alighted on Don 
Quixote's head. It is 
exciting to alight upon 
a rare picture in a 
curiosity shop. 

A.-S. atthtaii, from a- in- 
tensive lihtan alight (and 
so make a horse's burden 

alight [2] (a lit'), adj. 
On fire ; lighted ; illu- 
minated. (F. allume.) 

A burning fire is 
alight. At night the 
street lamps are alight. 
When we see a Christ- 
mas tree alight with 
candles our faces should 
be alight with pleasure. 
If the gas is alight, or 
lighted, then the room is 
alight, or filled with 

Strictly, "alight" 
is a past participle 
meaning " shone upon with light," and is 
used predicatively. 

align (a lln'). This is another spelling 
of aline. See aline. 

alike (a Ilk'), adj. Similar, adv. In the 
same way ; equally. (F. semblable ; egale- 

Newly minted pennies are all alike, and 
so are the houses in some streets. To many 
of us the stars are alike, but not to sailors or 
astronomers. Wood and rags are alike in 

A friendly gull alighting on the finger 
L visitor to Kensington Garden*. 




Alinement. Dipping the Colour as the Guards inarch past the King on Horse Guards Parade, Whitehall. 
An example of perfect military alinement. 

one respect ; both can be made into paper. 
People who are fond of music and painting 
have tastes alike. 

There are degrees of likeness, for which 
modifying words are added to " alike." The 
Italian and Spanish languages are somewhat 
alike. All the full stops in this paragraph 
are exactly alike. Emphatic statements like 
the last, though, are seldom strictly true. 
Although the stops are printed alike (adv.) 
a microscope would probably show that each 
has its peculiarities. 

O. Norse, allk-r, from a on, Ilk like. SYN. : 
Akin, equal, homogeneous, identical, same. 
ANT. : Different, dissimilar, distinct, hereto- 
geneous, unlike. 

aliment (al' i ment), n. Food. (F. 

Nourishing food is alimental (al i men ' tal, 
adj.) food, or alimentary (al i men' ta ri) food, 
and it is taken alimentally (al i men' tal li, 
adv.), by means of the alimentary canal, 
which is one of the most important parts of 
the human body. It includes the mouth, 
the throat, the stomach and the small and 
large intestines. Through the mouth and 
throat the food is carried to the stomach, 
where it is partly digested by the bile. In 
the intestines digestion is continued, the 
valuable part of the food is absorbed, and 
the waste part is carried away. 

The act of being nourished or of affording 
nourishment or support is known as aliment- 
ation (al i men ta' shun, n.), and alimentative 
(al i men' ta tiv, adj.) is anything connected 
with feeding or nourishing. 

L. ahmentum from alere to nourish. 

alimony (al' i mun i), n. A money 
allowance which a man may be ordered to 
pay his wife for her support ; provision for 

L. alimonia nourishment, from alere to 

aline (a lln'), v.t. To place in or bring into 
line. v.i. To fall or form into line. Align 
(a lln') is another but less correct form of 
spelling. (F. aligner ; s' aligner.} 

A colonel will aline his regiment for a 
review or an advance, and a gardener will 
aline his potatoes or an architect his windows. 
The result of alining is alinement (a lln' 
ment, n.). 

A familiar example of alinement is that by 
which so many of the English country roads 
have been made into arterial roads by re- 
moving awkward bends and alining long 
stretches between given points. Prehistoric 
stone monuments standing in rows are 
known as alinements. Stars are easily found 
by alinement, that is, by drawifig imaginary 
lines in the heavens from one known star 
to another and using this as a pointer or 
base to find a third. 

L.L. allineare, from ad to, lincare to form in a 
straight line. 

aliquot (al' i kwot), adj. Contained in 
another number an exact number of times. 
n. Such a number. (F. aliquote.) 

2S. 6d. is an aliquot part ot i, 
because it " goes into " it exactly without 
leaving a remainder ; but 35. 6d. is not. AH 
our lesser coins are aliquots of i. 

L. aliquot some, from alius other, qitot how 
many ? 

alive (a HV), adj. Living; lively; awake 
to ; in operation ; in a state of commotion. 
(F. en vie, vif, animd.) 

The figurative uses of alive are many 
" we must look alive or the work will not be 
done in time " (be really active) ; " the Home 
Secretary is alive to the necessity of com- 
bating smallpox " (well aware of) : " keep 




alive in your breast that little spark of 
celestial fire called Conscience " (cherish) ; 
" the roads to Epsom are alive with cars on 
Derby Day " (swarming). The word is also 
used to add force : " No man alive would 
<.!a,re " ; " Why, bless your heart alive, 
my dear, how late you are ! " said Mrs. 
Cratchit, in Dickens' " Christmas Carol," 
when her daughter came in to dinner. 
A.-S. ow = on, in, and life (dative of llf). 

alizarin (a liz' a rin), n. A red dye 
formerly extracted from madder but now 
prepared from anthracene, a coal-tar product. 
(F. alizarine.) 

A salt of alizarine is an alizarate (a liz' a 
rat, n.) and its acid alizaric (al i zar' ik, adj.) 

F. alizari madder, probably of Arabic origin, 
from al-asarah something pressed out, the juice. 

alkahest (al' ka hest), n. Tli3 universal 
solvent of the alchemists. (F. alcahest.) 

We know that water dissolves many things 
but not everything not metals, for instance. 
Indeed, no element which dissolves every- 
thing is known. Once, however, it was be- 
lieved that such an element, called alkahest, 
existed. This was the belief of the alchemists, 
the chemists of an earlier civilization. 

The word was probably coined by Paracelsus, 
al representing the Arabic article the. 

alkali (al' ka li), n. A class of chemical 
compounds. (F. alcali.) 

This word was originally applied to the 
ashes of plants, which indeed are very rich 
in alkalis (al' ka Hz, Now it is used to 
denote a well-defined group of chemical 
compounds. We may have very strong 
alkalis like caustic soda, or milder alkalis 
like carbonate of soda. Ammonia is also 
classed as an alkali. Alkalis all turn red 
litmus blue, and destroy acids. Any sub- 
stance of this nature is said to be alkaline (al' 
ka lin, adj.). Alkaline metals are those that 
give alkalis w,Jien they act upon water. One 
of these a soft metal called potassium - 

catches fire when dropped on to water. A 
substance that is becoming or is inclined to 
become alkaline or that is slightly alkaline 
is alkalescent (al ka les'ent, adj.) and possesses 
the property of alkalescence (al ka les' ens, 
n.) or alkalescency (al ka les' en si, ..). 

To alkalize (al' ka liz, v.t.) is to make 
alkaline, and the act is alkalization (al ka II 
za'shun, n.). An alkaloid (al' ka loid, n.) is 
an alkaline organic substance of a special 
kind, often very poisonous, such as strych- 
nine. Anything relating to an alkaloid or 
having the properties of one is alkaloidal (al 
ka loid' al, adj.). 

If we turn a substance into an alkali we 
alkalify (al' kal i fl, v.t.) it, and a substance 
that can be so changed is alkalifiable (al kal 
i fi' abl, adj.). Measuring the strengths of 
alkalis is alkalimetry (al ka lim' et ri, n.), and 
anything to do with this is alkalimetrical 
(al ka li met' ri kal, adj.). 

Arab, al the, qali ashes, especially of saltwort. 

alkanet (al' ka net), n. A plant ; a 
dye made from this plant. (F. orcanets.) 

Botanists call the plant Alkanna or A nchusa 
tinctoria, and it is also known as orchanet, 
dyer's bugloss and Spanish bugloss. It is 
grown in the south of France and on the 
shores of the Levant. A fine red colouring 
matter is obtained from it, and this is used 
to tint wines, oil varnish, etc. 

The word comes from Arabic al-hannd henna. 

alkyl (al' kil), n. A general name for a 
certain class of radicals (families of atoms) 
which cannot exist by themselves, but take 
part in the composition of what are called 
" the paraffins " or the " paraffin hydro- 
carbons." (F. alkyl.) 

The smallest alkyl is CHs, that is, one 
carbon atom and three hydrogen atoms 
(methyl). The next is CzHs (ethyl), then 
CsH? (propyl), and so on, with an increase of 
CHa each time. In each case if one atom of 
hydrogen is added we get a paraffin. For 
example, methyl gives CH4 (marsh gas). 

Alkali. The alkali beds of Magadi Laka, in Kenya. This East African lake is twenty-five miles long and 
four miles wide. The carbonate of soda is brought ashore by a light railway 



Instead of hydrogen OH may be added ; for 
instance, ethyl gives C^HaOH (ethyl alcohol). 
Alkylation (al ki la' shun, n.) is the putting 
of these radicals into compounds. 

Alkyl = a/A (short for alkali) and -yl, suffix 
forming chemical radicals. 

all (awl), adj. The whole of. n. The 
whole, adv. Wholly. (F. tout.) 

This word, as an adjective, tells you how 
much of a thing (the whole of it), how long 
(the whole length), to what extent (the whole 
extent), etc. As a noun it refers to the whole 
thing in itself, as when we say " All is lost." 
The universe is sometimes called "the all." 
Again, the word when used instead of wholly 
or completely is an adverb. It is occasion- 
ally used, in the way of an adverb, to in- 
crease the force of a word by being joined 
to that word by a hyphen, as in all-destroy- 
ing ; and sometimes, dropping an I, it is 
quite joined to the word, as in almost, alone. 

As a noun all is also used in lawn tennis, 
badminton, and other games. In lawn 
tennis, instead of calling the score fifteen- 
fifteen, fifteen to each player, or fifteen to 
both sides, it is the custom to call fifteen-all, 
or thirty-all, as the case may be. When an 
equal number of games has been won by each 
player or pair of players the score is called 

All on side is a term in Rugby football. 
When a player has kicked the ball up the 
field and is following up his kick he gives the 
warning cry of " all on," a shortened form 
of " all on side," as soon as he has placed the 
other players of his team " on side." It may 
be that the player calls " all on " when one 
or other of the team is "off side," in which 
event a free kick is awarded to the other side. 

A.-S. eal, M.E. al. SYN. : adj. Complete, each, 
total, n. Sum, totality, whole, adv. Completely, 
quite. ANT. : adj. Fractional, some. n. Frac- 
tion, piece, portion, adv. Incompletely, partly. 

Allah (al' a), n. The name of God in the 
Mohammedan religion. (F. Allah.) 

The first article of the Moslem faith is 
that "there is no God but Allah, and 
Mohammed is his Prophet." 

Arab, contracted from al-ilah (al the, ilah God). 

allanite (al' a nit), n. A glassy mineral 
containing silica, iron, and cerium. (F. 

This brownish black mineral was named 
after Thomas Allan (1777-1833) of Edinburgh, 
who discovered it. 

allargando (al lar gan' do), adv. In 
music, slower and louder. (F. allargando.) 

This term is employed to show that the 
passage of music so marked must be taken 
in a much slower, broader, and louder style, 
with greatly marked emphasis. This direction 
generally occurs towards the end of a section 
or phrase, or when the music is drawing to 
an imposing close. 

Ital. becoming, or making broader, from L.L. 
allargare, from al- =ad intensive, largus abundant 

allay (a la'), v.t. To quiet ; to soothe. 
(F. alleger, apaiser.) 

A drug is said to allay pain, or a mother 
to allay her child's fear of the dark. The 
lessening of pain is called allaying (a la' ing, 

A.-S. alecgan to lay down, remove, confused 
with M.E. aleggen, meaning also to alleviate, 
from L.L. alleviare to make light (levis). SYN. 
Alleviate, moderate, pacify, relieve. ANT. : 
Aggravate, exasperate, excite, infuriate. 

Allah. " There is no God but Allah, and Moham- 
med is his Prophet." Calling the faithful to prayer. 

allegation (al lc ga' shun), n. An 
assertion ; a definite charge. (F. allegation.) 

If we say that a man is not honest we make 
an allegation against him. The assertion may 
be a wrong one, or it may be quite true ; it 
does not matter which it is, it is an allegation. 
When we make such an assertion we allege 
(a lej', v.t.) or state positively that the man 
is dishonest. 

The legal meaning of allegation is a state- 
ment as yet unproved, but believed to be true 
by the one by whom it was made. In the 
case of criminal charges the editors of news- 
papers are always careful to refer to the 
person prosecuted as an alleged (a lejd', part, 
adj.) forger, burglar, or whatever he is said to 




be, until the allegation or charge against him 
has been proved, otherwise they lay them- 
selves open to an action for libel should he 
be declared innocent. 

O.F. esligier, L.L. e(x)litigare to put beyond 
dispute, which became confused with L. allegare 
to depute ; bring forward, from ad to, legare to 
send. SYN. : Affirmation, assertion, declaration, 
profession. ANT. : Contradiction, denial, refu- 

allegiance (ale' jans ; ale' ji ans,) n. The 
duty a subject owes to the ruler or govern- 
ment of his country ; respect ; devotion. 
(F. allegeancc.) 

In feudal days the liege-man or vassal 
owed allegiance to his liege-lord and gave 
military service, etc., in return for the use 

(Photo: Hollaer.) 

Allegory. " Hope," the beautiful allegorical painting by 

G. F. Watts that would suggest despair if it were not for 

the remaining string on the lyre. 

and possession of land. Our allegiance to 
the King is a finer feeling of devotion, known 
as loyalty. 

There is also the allegiance that honour 
demands from us, as well as the allegiance of 
a doctor to his profession. Members of Parlia- 
ment take the Oath of Allegiance that is, 
they swear fidelity to the King when they 
enter Parliament. This oath is also taken 
by the clergy, judges, and- other officials, 
and by aliens when naturalized. 

M.E. alegeance, from F. a = to, lig(e)ance loyalty 
to a liege. O.F. lige. SYN. : Devotion, faithfulness, 
homage, loyalty, obedience. ANT. : Disaffection, 
disloyalty, rebellion, sedition, treason. 

allegory (al' le go ri), n. The describing 
of a subject under the guise of another which 
resembles and suggests it ; a story or other 
example of this.. (F. alle'gorie.) 

If you began to read a story with an 
opening sentence like this " One fine day 
Truthfulness, when walking down the street, 
met Honesty and . Courage-, and the three 
friends went on together into the market- 
place . . . ." you would know you were 
reading an allegory. An allegory may also 
be a picture or a piece of sculpture, telling 
a story in the same way, as in many paintings 
by G. F. Watts and Sir Edward Burne-Jones. 
An allegoric (al le gor' ik) or allegorical 
(al le gor' ik al, adj.) story or picture is one 
of this kind, and to tell the story or 
paint the picture in this way is to 
treat it allegorically (al le gor' ik al li, 
adv.) . The person who does this is an 
allegorist (al' le go rist, n.), and when 
he is putting his story into this shape 
he is said to allegorize (al' le go riz, 

Well-known examples of allegories 
are Our Lord's Parables, Bunyan's 
" The Pilgrim's Progress," and Watts' 
painting called " Hope." 

Gr. L. allegoria, from allos other, 
agoreuein to speak. SYN. : Fable, 
metaphor, myth, parable, simile. 

allegretto (al le gret' to), adj. 
and adv. Rather brisk or briskly. 
(F. allegretto.) 

When a musical movement or com- 
position is to be taken in a moderately 
brisk and lively style, the word alleg- 
retto is used as a guide to the tempo 
(time) at which it is to be per- 
formed. An allegretto movement 
must proceed at a rather slower speed 
than an allegro movement but still 
with plenty of spirit in it. 

Ital. dim. of allegro. 

allegro (al la' gro), adj. Quick, 
cheerful, adv. Quickly ; cheerfully. 
n. A movement in allegro time. 
(F. allegro.) 

Besides meaning that the music 
should be taken in a quick and cheer- 
ful manner, allegro for such is used 
a movement in a sonata, overture, 
or other r msical work. It is often qualified 
by such terms as " molto allegro " (very 
quick), " allegro vivace " (quick and lively). 
Ital. allegro, from L. alacer quick. 

alleluia (al le loo' ya), . A song of 
praise to God. See hallelujah. 

alleviate (a le' vi at), v.t. To ease. 
(F. alleger, soulager.) 

The exact sense of the word is that of 
making lighter- lightening the pain or the 
gloom, for instance. A dentist before pulling 
out a tooth may inject a drug into the gum 
to alleviate the pain. Such easing of pain is 
alleviation (a le vi a' shim, n.) and the means 




by which the relief is brought, about the 
dentist's drug is an alleviative (a le' vi a 
tiv, 11.). The person who eases pain or lightens 
a burden is an alleviator (a le' vi a tor, .). 
A thing is alleviatory (a le' vi a to ri, adj.) 
when it can be used for easing or lightening. 
L.L. alleviare, L. allevare, from ad to, levarj 
to lighten (levis light). SVN. : Abate, allay 
mitigate, relieve, soothe. ANT. : Aggravate 
augment, embitter, intensify. 

alley (al' li), n. A lane or passage ; a 
narrow street, or bordered walk ; a place for 
playing such games as skittles, bowls, and 
handball. (F. ruelle, allee.) 

Long before the London 
Stock Exchange was built 
stocks and shares used to be 
bought and sold in Change 
Alley, or the Alley as it was 
generally called. 

Alley is also a term in lawn 
tennis and other games. In 
lawn tennis it is the space 
between the side-lines of the 
singles and doubles courts. 

O.F. alee, M.E. aley, from O.F. 
aler, F. alter to go. Etymology 
uncertain. L. adnare to swim up 
to, approach, or aditare, frequenta- 
tive of adire go to, have been 

All-Father (awl' fa ther), n. 
The Divine Father of all. 

yhis was the name given to 
the pagan gods, Odin and 
Jupiter. Now we use it of the 
First Person in the Blessed Trinity God 
the Father 

All Fools' Day (awl loolz da), n The 
first of April. (F. le premier avril.) 

The great fun on this day is, of course, to 
surprise a friend by some trick or prank 
into doing something silly, so that he earns 
the title of April Fool. The origin of the 
custom is unknown. 

all fours (awl' lorzj, n. A card game; 
the arms and legs ; the four legs of an animal 
(F. impenale, a quatre pattes.) 

The name comes from the tour cards by 
which the points in this game are counted. 
Americans call the game also Seven Up. 
Old Sledge, and High-Low-Jack. The term 
is used for a game of dominoes in which 
points are scored only when the pips add up 
to a multiple of four. 

When we get down on the floor and play 
about on our hands and knees, or toes, like 
a monkey, we are said to go on all fours, and 
if Tom and his brother stayed away from 
school through illness Tom's reason for ab- 
sence would be on all fours with his brother's. 

all-hail (awl hal), inter. An exclamation 
of respectful welcome, n. Such a welcome. 
v.t. To give such a welcome. (F. salut !) 

Except in the language of religion this 
expression is now hardly ever used. As 


Alley. Skittle-alley, skittle, 
and views of cheese. 

a verb it is used by Shakespeare in 
" Macbeth " (i, 5). In his letter to his 
wife Macbeth mentions messages from the 
king, " who all-hailed me, ' Thane of 
Cawdor, ' " meaning " who saluted 'me by 
this name." 

All-Hallows' Eve (awl hal' 6z ev), n. 
The last evening of October. Allhallowtide 
is another name for the season of All Saints. 
See Halloween. (F. la veille de la Toussaint.) 
A.-S. halig, cp. G. heiJig M.E. halowe, holy 
man, saint. 

alliaceous (al li a' shus), ad]. Belonging 
to a plant family .which in- 
cludes the onion, leek, and 
garlic ; having the taste or 
smell of these. (F. alliacd.) 

L. allium garlic, suffix -aceus ol 
the nature of. 

alliance (a II' ans), n. The 
state ol being combined or 
allied ; union by marriage 
or other relationship or by 
common interests ; union by 
treaty or league between 
nations ; such a treaty or 
league ; the parties or objects 
allied in some of these ways. 
(F. alliance.) 

History is lull ol alliances 
made between countries for 
purposes of mutual protection 
or conquest. There is, for 
instance, the Holy Alliance, 
made in 1815, chiefly with 
the view of keeping peace between the 
governments of Europe. In some ways 
it resembled the League of Nations, but it 
failed sadly. Then, before the World War 
of 1914-18, Germany, Austria, and Italy were 
grouped together in a Triple Alliance, while 
on the other side was a similar partnership, 
the Triple Entente, formed by Great Britain. 
France, and Russia. 

A marriage brings about an alliance 
between families. Various branches of 
Christianity agreed to work together in an 
Evangelical Alliance. Businesses and pro- 
fessions form alliances for co-operating to 
each other's advantage ; in America there 
is a Farmer's Alliance. 

O.F ahance, irom alter, Irom L. alligare 
(al- =ad to, ligare to bind). SYN. : Coalition, 
compact, confederation, league, union. ANT. : 
Antagonism divorce hostility secession, 

alligation (al h ga shun), n. The 
act of joining together or the state of being 
joined ; a rule in arithmetic. (F. regie 

Alligation is the rule in arithmetic by 
which we find the value of a number of things 
mixed together, but each of different . price 
or quality. It is sometimes called the rule 
of mixtures. 

L. alligare (al- =ad to, ligare to bind.) 



alligator (al' li ga tor), n. A huge 
lizard-like reptile. (F. alligator.) 

Alligators belong to the crocodile family, 
but an alligator is not a crocodile. A croco- 
dile's hind legs have a jagged fringe behind 
them ; an alligator's hind legs are smooth, 
and have no fringe. A crocodile's toes are 
webbed ; an alligator's are like fingers in 
comparison. The fourth lower tooth on 
each side of a crocodile's mouth is visible 
when the mouth is shut ; the same teeth in 
an alligator are closed inside the mouth. 

Alligators lay eggs, and about one hundred 
is considered, an ordinary clutch for the 
Mississippi alligator. These strange creatures 
all live in swamps and rivers. . There are 
several varieties, some much larger than 
others. The alligator of Florida (Alligator 
Indus) is often 14 feet long, while the Amazon 
variety (Alligator sclerops) is sometimes 20. 
Alligators are found in Florida, Central and 
South America, the West Indies, and also in 
China. Alligator skin is largely used in the 
manufacture of leather goods, and the num- 
bers of wild alligators are now so reduced 
by hunters in Florida that " alligator farms " 
have been established, where the reptiles are 
kept in paddocks, and their eggs hatched 
in incubators. 

Span, cl lagarto the lizard, from L. lacerta, 

Alligator. Unlike its cousin the crocodile, the 
alligator's toes are only slightly webbed. 

alligator apple (al' li ga tor ap' 1), n. A 
variety of custard apple. (F. cachiman dcs 

This fruit, which grows wild in the swamps 
of Jamaica, is an inferior variety of the 
custard apple. It cannot compare with the 
better varieties, known as sour-sop and 
sweet-sop, which are plentiful in the West 
Indies. The scientific name is Anona 

alligator pear (al' li ga tor par), n. 
A juicy fruit grown in the West Indies. See 

alligator tortoise (al' li ga tor tor' tiis), 
n. A North American reptile. (F. tortue 

This animal is sometimes called the 
" snapping turtle," but more correctly the 
Alligator Terrapin (Chelydra serpent ina). 
It is very larg^ has a longish tail, and 
like the alligator stretches itself out while 
basking on the warm sand. It lives mostly 
in water. 

Alligator tortoise. So called because it basks in 
the sun like its namesake. 

alliteration (a lit' er a shun), n. The use 
together, or close together, of words begin- 
ning with the same letter. (F. alliteration.) 

To speak of a " fine fresh fish " or a " merry 
May morning " is alliteration. To use a 
phrase of that kind is to alliterate (a lit' er 
at, v.i.) and the phrase itself is said to be 
alliterative (a lit' er a tiv, adj.) or one in which 
words are used alMteratively (a lit' er a tiv li, 

L. al- =ad to, liter a letter. 

allium (al' li um), n. A group of plants 
belonging to the order which botanists call 
Liliaceae. (F. ail.) 

The allium group includes, among wild 
flowers, the garlics ; among garden flowers, 
the sweet-scented allium and Allium neapoli- 
tanum, while the alliums grown as vegetables 
include the onion, the shallot, the leek, garlic, 
and chives. 

L. allium garlic. 

allocate (al' 16 kat), v.t. To put aside for 
a special purpose ; to portion out ; to fix the 
position of. (F. allouer.) 

A group of helpers may be allocated to 
certain duties. A sum of money is divided or 
ear-marked for various purposes by the one 
who makes the allocation (al 16 ka' shun, ;?.). 
Shares in a company, or plots of land, can be 
allocated to applicants or purchasers. 

L.L. allocare, from al- =ad to, locus place. 

allocution (allo ku' shun), n. An address, 
either spoken or written, given by one in 
authority to his followers. (F. allocution.) 

This word is used especially for the 
harangue of a Roman general to his troops, 
for a formal address of the Pope on some 
important matter, and for the address read 




before the French Academy by a new 

L. allocutio (ace. -onem), from allocutus (p.p. 
of alloqui), from al- =ad to, loqui to speak. 

allograph (al' 16 graf), n. A signature 
or other writing made on behalf of another. 

A letter penned by the secretary of the 
Prime Minister at the latter's request would 
be an allograph. 

Gr. alias, another, graphein to write. 

allonge (al lonzh'), n. A /thrust in 
fencing at full arm's length ; a slip attached 
to a bill of exchange in order to make room 
for more signatures. (F. botte, allonge.} 

F. from L. al- =ad to, L.L. longare to lengthen, 
from longus long. 

allopathy (a lop' a thi), n. The system fol- 
lowed ordinarily by doctors in the treatment 
of illness namely, that of seeking to reverse 
the conditions that cause the illness. (F. 

As a simple illustration, if the trouble 
arises from a chill, by keeping the patient 
warm in bed effects different from those which 
caused the illness will be obtained. The 
word is used chiefly to distinguish between 
ordinary medical practice and what is called 
homoeopathy. An allopath (al' 6 path) or 
allopathist (a lop' a thist, n.) is one who uses 
allopathic (al 16 path' ik, adj.) methods, who 
treats his patients allopathically (al 6 path' 
ik al li, adv.). 

Gr. allo(s) other, pathein to suffer. 

allot (a lof), v.t. To apportion ; to mark 
out for a special purpose ; to appoint. 
(F. allotir, assigner.) 

The old meaning of this word was to divide 
by drawing lots, to divide as the land of 
Israel was appointed to be divided in the days 
of Moses : " According to the lot shall the 
possession thereof be divided between many 
and few" (Numbers xxvi. 56). Nowadays 
the word does not imply distribution by 
drawing lots, but distribution in lots. The 
parcelling out of land, goods, shares or stock 
in a company, etc., is allotment (a lot' ment, 
.), and so is that which is allotted. The 
person who is given an allotment is the 
allottee (al lot te', n.). One can also allot 
certain duties to different helpers or workers, 
or certain positions to players in a game. 

A special use of the word allotment is for 
a plot of garden ground, not usually attached 
to a house, but in a field divided into sections, 
each cultivated by an allotment-holder. 

" A garden is half the battle " is a saying 
that is almost a proverb in rural Britain. 
In the eighteenth century millions of acres 
were enclosed in England, including many 
commons and wastes. This was no doubt 
good for farmers, but in course of time the 
poorer classes in many country places lost 
any chance of keeping a cow or geese or even 
of obtaining a plot of land to cultivate in 
their spare time. 

By the beginning of the nineteenth century 
there <sas great poverty in the villages, and 

in order to ease the burden of parish relief a 
movement was started to provide allotments 
for country labourers. Certain Acts of 
Parliament, all consolidated in the.. Small 
Holdings and Allotments Act of iqoS, gave 

Allotment. A busy allotment-holder at work in a 
section of a field allotted to him. 

local authorities power to secure land, by 
compulsion if necessary, wherever there was 
a local demand for allotments and wherever 
suitable land was obtainable. Nowadays the 
outskirts of almost every city, town, and 
village in the country have their fields of 
allotments, well cultivated and prosperous. 

O.F. aloter, from a=ad to, and a Teut. word 
= E. lot. SYN. : Assign, destine, distribute. 
ANT. : Confiscate, retain, withhold. 

allotropy (a lot' ro pi), n. A property 
possessed by some chemical elements or 
their compounds of appearing in two or more 
different forms. (F. allotropie.) 

One of the most striking examples of this 
allotropie (al 16 trop' ik, adj.) quality also 

Allotropy. Carbon, an example of allotropism, 

occurs in a lead pencil, a diamond, soot, an 

arc-lamp, and bread. 

called allotropism (a lot' ro pizm, n.) is 
carbon, which can exist in such varied forms 
as a diamond, the black soot which coats the 
inside of our chimneys, and the so-called 
lead, more correctly called graphite, in our 

Gr. allo(s) other, different, tropos form, from 
trepein to turn. 




allow (a km'), v.t. To permit ; to admit ; 
to grant. (F. permettre, reconnaitre.) 

A parent may allow a child to do some- 
thing ; a master may allow a servant 
certain expenses ; a firm may allow a work- 
man his wages during an illness ; a cashier 
may allow a bill to pass for payment. One 
may allow a statement or claim, as being 
true or reasonable. A boy going to catch a 
train is wise to allow for his watch being 
slow. If permission is given, then the act 
is allowable (a lou' abl, adj.] and no one can 
allowably (a lou' ab li, adv.) question its 
allowableness (a lou' abl nes, n.). 

A boy's allowance (a lou' ans, n.) may mean 
his pocket money, that is, the sum of money 
his parents allowance (v.t.) him, or the 
liberal helping of pudding he gets at dinner. 
After scoring a duck in his first cricket 
match, allowance or excuse is made for his 
lack of experience. 

(i) L.L. allocare to assign a place to, from 
al- =ad to, locus place ; (2) L.L. allaitdare to 
approve, from al- ad to, laudare to praise, from 
laus (gen. laudis) praise. SYN. : Approve, 
authorize, let. ANT. : Disallow, forbid, refuse. 

alloy (a loi'), n. A mixture of two or more 
metals or the state of being so mixed ; the 
inferior metal in such a mixture ; a thing 
that by being added mars the excellence of 
something else. v.t. To mix with an inferior 
metal ; to debase ; to modify. (F. alliage ; 

Commercial alloys are of great importance 
and in many branches of industry quite in- 
dispensable, because for certain purposes 
some metals are greatly improved if mixed 
with another or others to form an alloy. 
Nickel silver, or German silver as it is also 
called, is largely used as a basis for electro- 
plating and for making spoons, forks, etc. 
It consists of copper, zinc, and nickel in 
proportions varied according to the quality 
of the alloy desired. Brass is another useful 
alloy, made from two parts of copper and one 
part of zinc. Our copper coinage contains 
an alloy of zinc, and our silver coins, too, 
contain some alloy. 

Besides using the word in connexion with 
metals we can speak, for instance, of a good 
man having no base alloy in his composition. 

O.F. alay, alloy, M.E. alay, from L. alligare to 
bind. O.F. aid, aloi was confused with a 
loi (according to law) =L. ad legem. SYN. : 
Admixture, adulteration, debasement. ANT. : 
Genuineness, integity, purity. 

all-round (awl' round), adj. Good in 
every way. (F. en tous sens.) A boy good 
at games a*s well as at his lessons is a good 
all-round boy. 

E. all in every direction, and round. 

All Saints' Day (awl santz da), n. The first 
day of November. (F. jour de la Toussaint.) 

This day, formerly called All Hallows, is 
the Church festival for the whole of the 
saints. The Emperor Charlemagne observed 
the festival, but it was not formally instituted 
until the year 835 by Pope Gregory IV. 

allseed (awl' sed), n. A small English 
wild flower. (F. polycarpe.) 

This tiny plant with greenish flowers 
grows only four inches high, and is rather 
uncommon, being found mostly on the south 
coast of England. It is usually called four- 
leaved allseed, and its scientific name is 
Polycarpon tetraphyllum. The name all- 
seed is also applied to various other plants 
that have a great many seeds. 

E. all and seed. 

All Souls' Day (awl solz da), n. The 
second day of November. (F. jour des 

On this day the Roman Catholic Church 
commemorates the souls of all good people 
who have died. 

All Soul*' Day.- Peasant women of Belgrade, the 

capital of Yugoslavia, decorating a grave on 

All Souls' Day. 

allspice (awl' spis), n. The dried berries 
of the pimenta tree. (F. piment.) 

Gingerbread made in the old-fashioned wax- 
is almost certain to contain allspice. Sold 
wholesale as pimento and retail as allspice, 
it looks like cocoa in its ground state, and has 
a pleasant smell like cinnamon, with a 
suggestion of other spices. This spice is made 
from the berries of a tree of the myrtle order, 
known as Pimenta officinalis, which grows 
in the West Indies, particularly Jamaica. Its 
strength is shown by the fact that the 
pleasant flavour of allspice berries is notice- 
able even when used with pickled onions. 

E. all and spice. 

allude (a lud'), v.i. To refer indirectly. 
(F. faire allusion a.) 

This word implies a sly or at any rate an 
indirect hint. If a schoolmaster mentioned 
that a certain boy's name was not on the 
prize list, his hearers might say that he had 
made an allusive (a lus' iv, adj.) remark, 
meaning that he had as much as said that the 
boy was a poor scholar. The word is often 
used in a wider sense now, without any 
suggestion of doubt or indirectness, but this 
is not considered strictly correct. 

In heraldry, allusive arms mean devices 
suggesting the name of the bearer, such as 




the castles and lions on the arms of the 
Kingdom of Castile and Leon. Any piece of 
writing that abounds in indirect references 
or allusions (a lu' zhunz. has allusive- 
ness (a lus' iv nes, n.). 

L. alludere, from al- ad to, ludere to jest, 
refer to mockingly. SYN. : Hint, insinuate, 
intimate, suggest. ANT. : Declare, proclaim 

allure (a lur'), v.t. To tempt ; to entice. 
(F. seduire, attirer.) 

A foolish person can be allured into 
debt by vanity, while there is no doubt 
that the bait on a fisherman's hook 
proves an allurement (a lur'ment, n.) 
to fish that see its alluring (a lur' ing, 
adj.) appearance. Many of us have 
made a cat or a dog sit up and beg by 
holding a piece of meat alluringly 
(a lur' ing li, adv.) above its nose. 

O.F. aleurer from a to, and leurre bait ; 
c.p. G. luder and E. lure. SYN. : Attract, 
coax, decoy, inveigle. ANT. : Deter, 
dissuade, repel. 

alluvion (a lu' vi on), n. The 
very gradual formation of new land 
by the action of water. (F. alluvion.) 

The destruction caused by the sea 
through washing away the land is 
often deplored. On the other hand, 
there are many parts of the British 
Isles where the sea is steadily adding 
to the land area by alluvion. Any new 
land thus formed becomes the pro- 
perty of the owner of the foreshore. 

The silt or soil deposited by run- 
ning water is called alluvium (a lu' 
vi um, n.) ; pi. alluvia (a lu vi a). The 
deltas of the Nile and Ganges, which 
cover hundreds of square miles, 
indicate the vast quantities of soil 
washed down to the sea by great 
rivers during the course of centuries. 
At the mouth of the Thames and in 
other estuaries considerable areas of 
low-lying land, consisting of alluvial 
(a lu' vi al, adj.) soil carried there 
by water, have been reclaimed for 
agricultural purposes. 

L. alluvies, alluvia, from alluere, from 
al- =ad to, lucre =lavare to wash. 

ally [i] (a li'). v.t. To join to- 
gether ; to connect, n. A partner. 
(F. allier ; allie.) 

When a prince of one country marries a 
princess of another country, the two reigning 
families are allied by marriage. A close 
friend is an ally, but the word is most 
commonly used where two or more countries 
join together in peace or war for a common 
purpose. In the World War of 1914-18 the 
nations fighting against Germany, Austria, 
Turkey, and Bulgaria were commonly de- 
scribed as the Allies (al Hz', 

O.F. alier, from L. alligere, from al- =ad to 
ligare to bind. SYN. : v. Connect, unite, n. 
Associate, colleague, helper. ANT. : v. Divide, 
sever, n. Adversary, enemy, opponent. 

ally [2] (al'li), n. A large and choice marble 
used in the game of marbles. The word is 
also spelt alley. (F. bitle de marbre.) 

The ally is the marble with which, in the 
variety of the game called ring-taw, the 
player shoots at the others in the ring. It is 
made of alabaster or of real marble A blood 
ally is 'one which has red streaks or spots 
in it. 

It is supposed to be a diminutive of alabaster. 

Ally. Soldiers who were allies or partners ; n the World War 

of 1914-18 carrying a model of the Greek Victory of 


almacantar (al ma kan' tar), n. A circle 
or parallel of altitude. An instrument for 
determining time and latitude. (F. almu- 
cantarat, cercle de hauteur.) 

A line drawn through all stars at the same 
height above the horizon would be a circle 
parallel to the horizon, and called an alma- 
cantar. The instrument called by this name 
consists of a floating telescope, fitted with 
Horizontal wires. By its US3 the exact times 
of the rising and setting of a given star can 
be found ; and from the known position of the 
star the necessary correction of a timepiece 




and the latitude can be determined. The 
word occurs in Chaucer's " Astrolabe " in the 
form almykantera, 

Arab, al mugantardt circles parallel to the 

Almagest (al' ma jest), n. Ptolemy's 
masterpiece on astronomy ; a mediaeval 
text-book on astrology or alchemy. (F. 

Ptolemy, who believed that the sun passed 
round the earth, lived in Alexandria, Egypt, 
in the second century A.D., and his great 
work called the Almagest, written about the 
year 150, contains everything that the 
Greeks knew about astronomy at that period 
of history. Considering the times in which 
its author lived, the Almagest, though con- 
taining many errors, was a remarkable 
achievement, and it remained the standard 
work on astronomy until the time of 
Copernicus (1473-1543). 

Arab, al the, Gr. megiste (lem. adj.) greatest 
composition, Gr. syntaxis). 

almanac (awl' man ak), n. A calendar 
of the days of the year, showing changes of 
the moon and other useful facts. (F. 
almanack, calendrier.) 

Before newspapers were generally read, 
almanacs were almost the only means 
people had of ascertaining dates, such as 
those of Easter and other important Church 
festivals, making calculations ahead of time, 
knowing when the moon rose, and so on. 
In country places especially almanacs were 
greatly valued. The Romans had their 
almanacs, called fasti, which gave the dates 
of forthcoming events, in the same way as the 
Oxford and Cambridge boat race and similar 
occasions are noted in modern almanacs. 

Examples of mediaeval almanacs written 
on parchment are still preserved, but it was 
not until printing was invented that almanacs 
were distributed widely in England. So 
popular were they that fierce legal battles 
arose over the attempt to preserve the sole 
right of printing almanacs, and as much as a 
shilling stamp duty was at one time placed 
on every sheet. Benjamin Franklin made a 
wonderful success of his " Poor Richard's 
Almanac/' which was brightened by wise 
sayings of a humorous and witty nature. It 
enjoyed a wide sale in America for many 3 r ears. 

"The Nautical Almanac," as the name 
indicates, is for the use of sailors. First pub- 
lished in 1767, and still issued by the 
Admiralty, it contains more information 
than any other in the world. Its astronom- 
ical tables, based on observations made at 
Greenwich Observatory, are the most com- 
plete of their kind. This almanac has a 
Government department to itself : H.M. 
Nautical Almanac Office, Royal Naval 
College, London. 

L.L. and F. almanack. In spite oi the Arabic 
prefix al the, it is not supposed to be of 
Arabic origin. Possibly -manach .may be from 
Gr. men month. 

aimandine (al' man din), n. The precious 
or noble garnet. (F. alabandine.) 

This beautiful garnet is of a rich red colour, 
varying in shade, and sometimes lined with 
yellow or blue. The finest crystals come from 
Ceylon ; but the name is a corruption of 
alabandine (L. alabandina], given to these 
garnets because they were cut and polished 
at Alabanda, in Asia Minor. 

almighty (awl ml' ti), adj. All powerful. 
n. God. (F. tout-puissant.} 

This word is often used in the Bible to 
describe God and almightiness (awl mi' ti 
nes, n.) to describe His infinite power. 
Occasionally it is used as an adjective to indi- 
cate great power, as the almighty dollar. 
On the silver dollars of the United States 
of America there is the motto : "In God 
we trust," which perhaps suggested the 
word almighty as a description of the coin. 

A.-S. aelmihtig. SYN. : All-powerful, omnipo- 
tent. ANT. : Feeble, impotent, powerless, weak. 

almond (a' mond), n. The kernel of the 
seed of the almond tree. (F. amande.) 

Almonds were 
among the gifts 
which Jacob told 
Benjamin and his 
other sons to take to 
Joseph in Egypt 
(Genesis xliii, 1 1). In 
every country where 
they are obtainable 
almonds are still con- 
sidered a luxury, 
especially at 
Christmas time. The 
woolly-looking seed 
or fruit of the almond 
tree, which is about 
the size of a plum, 
does not suggest 
good eating, neither 
does the stone inside 
it ; but when the 
stone is cracked, the delightful brown kernel, 
or almond, is revealed. 

Most of the almonds eaten in Britain come 
from Spain, Italy, and Morocco. The botan- 
ical name of the almond tree is Amygdalus 
comtmmis. The almond willow (n.) is one 
of the many varieties of willow that grow 
beside water in Britain. Its scientific name 
is Salix amygdalina. 

O.F. a(l)mandre, M.E. almaund, L. amygdala, 
Gr. atnygdale. 

almond-furnace (a' mond fer' nas), n. A 
furnace for separating metals from cinders. 
It is also used for reducing the slag of 
litharge to lead. (F. fournaise.) 

Almond is supposed to mean German (F. 

almond-tumbler (a' mond turn' bier), ;?. 
A variety of pigeon. It is a plump, short- 
faced tumbler pigeon with very glossy 
feathers of an almond colour. (F. pigeon 

Almond. The beautiful 

blossom of the almond 





almoner (al' mon er ; a' mon er), n. One 
who is appointed to distribute alms. (F. 

In olden times the monasteries and religious 
houses had their almoners, whose duty it was 
to give doles, or alms, to the poor who came 
to beg the charity of the monks daily. Now- 
adays many hospitals have their almoner, 
often a lady, who interviews patients entering 
the institution. The King's household in- 
cludes an hereditary grand almoner, a lord 
high almoner, and a sub-almoner, who dis- 
tribute the alms of the sovereign. 

O.F. almosnier, L.L. almosynarius. See alms. 

almonry (al' mon ri), n. The place 
.vhere the almoner distributed alms. (F. 

It was in the almonry of Westminster 
Abbey, in 1477, that space was found by the 
abbot for William Caxton to erect and work 
the first printing press ever seen in England. 

O.F. aulmosncrie, the suffix indicating place. 

almost (awl' most), adj. and adv. Nearly. 
(F. presque ; a peu pres.) 

We say that a man is almost dead, that 
we were almost persuaded to do something, 
and that something happened almost imme- 
diately after. In literary language we may 
use such an expression as a person's almost 

A.-S. aelmacsi quite the most, nearly all. SYN. : 
Approximately, well nigh. ANT. : Entirely, 

alms (amz), n. Anything given freely to 
relieve the poor ; work of mercy ; charity. 
(F. aumone.) 

A person who gives alms gives money, food, 
or clothing to the poor. The term also means 
work done out of charity to the poor, and the 
Great Teacher taught that " when thou doest 
alms, let not thy left hand know what thy 
right hand doeth." An act of charity is known 
as an alms-deed (n.), while the practice of 
giving alms is termed alms-giving (.). 

From time to time charitable people have 
founded houses where the poor are received 
and provided for ; these are called alms- 
houses ( Originally an alms-house was 
the house where the monks shared out the 
alms of the monastery. A man who receives 
and is supported by alms is called an almsman 

A.-S. aelmysse, M.E. almesse (almes), L.L. 
eleemosyna, Gr. eleeniosyne, from eleein to pity. 

almug (al' mug), n. A tree referred to in 
the Bible. See algum. 

aloe (al' 6), n. A plant belonging to the 
same order as the lily. (F. aloes.) 

The aloe plant is chiefly famous for the 
bitter medicine called aloes (al' 6z, 
which is obtained from its thick, fleshy 
leaves, and is spoken of as aloetic (al 6 et' ik, 
adj.) or an aloetic (n.), because it is obtained 
from aloes. The bitter principal is called 
aloin (al' 6 in, n.). 

Aloes grow mostly in hot climates, some- 
times to a height of forty feet. When the 
ancient Egyptians embalmed their dead they 
occasionally soaked the mummy wrappings 
in aloes to keep away destructive insects and 
reptiles. The American aloe or agave is 
quite a different plant. It grow? in England 
but is seldom seen in flower. 

A.-S. aluwan, pi. of aluwe (not in use), Gr. L. 

Aloft. Boys of the "Arethusa " training ship going 

aloft (a loft'), adv. High above tin- 
ground, in the sky ; at the mast-head or up 
the rigging. (F. en haul, en I' air.) 

An aviator steers his aeroplane aloft ; a 
sailor is aloft when he is up the rigging 
such is its meaning in the old English song : 
While the raging seas did roar, 
And the stormy wind did blow, 




Alone. A tribesman of the Sahara and his camel alone in the sandy, windswept desert. The man is facing 
towards Mecca, the sacred city of the Mohammedans, and is about to pray. 

And we jolly sailor boys were up, were up, 

And the land lubbers lying down below, 

below, below, etc. 

O. Norse a lopt (pronounced loft) in the air. 
See loft. SYN. : Above deck, on high, overhead. 
A.NT. : Below, on deck. 

alone (a Ion'), adj. By oneself ; apart 
from others, adv. Only. (F. seul ; seule- 

Few people like to be alone (adj.}. In the 
story of Alexander Selkirk we have a picture 
of the misery which absence from the com- 
pany of his fellow-men caused to a sailor 
who was put ashore on the island of Juan 
Fernandez, where he lived for more than four 
years alone. William Hazlitt said that when 
out walking in the country he was " never 
less alone than when alone " ; he never felt 
lonely when alone with nature. 

Of a child who wants a particular toy; we 
may say " that alone (adv.) will satisfy him," 
meaning that toy only. 

M.E. al one = all (quite), and one (by oneself)- 
SYN. : Lone, lonesome, merely, single, solely- 
ANT. : Accompanied, attended, combined, 
escorted, together. 

along (a long'), adv. Lengthwise ; for- 
ward ; in association, prep. By the side of ; 
through. (F. le long ; le long de.) 

We lay something along (or lengthwise) and 
we pass along (or forward). Along with (or 
in " association with) others some idlers 
work well. We talk of boats being tied 
along the shore (by the side of), and we walk 
along the street (through it lengthwise and 
not across it). We say that an invalid is 
getting along very well, meaning that he is 
going forward, improving in health. Things 
lie alongside (a long' sid, adv.), or side by 
side, and a boat may be brought alongside 
of another. A man may be employed 

alongshore (a long' shor, adv.), by or near the 
shore. To know a thing all along is to know 
it all the time. 

A.-S. andlang, from and- against, long long, 
G. entlang. SYN. : adv. Onward, prep. Beside, 
through. ANT/: adv. Crosswise, sideways. 
prep. Across. 

aloof (a loof), adv. At a distance ; apart- 
(F. au loin, eloigne.) 

To stand aloof from other people means 
" to stand apart from," " cut oneself away 
from," " remain unsympathetic." A person 
who adopts this attitude is generally con- 
sidered to imagine himself superior to the 
rest of the company present. In a nautical 
sense, to stand aloof means to remain to wind- 
ward. A person holding himself aloof is said, 
to remain in a state of aloofness (a loof nes, 

E. a- =on, Dutch loefluS, weather side of a ship. 
SYN. : Apart, away, distant, off. ANT. : Asso- 
ciated, close, near, together. 

aloud (a loud'), adv. Loudly ; audibly. 
(F. a haute voix.) 

There are three ways in which most of us 
may read silently, quietly, and loudly. We 
may read aloud or audibly in either of the 
last two ways, for we may speak in y a quiet 
voice or in a loud voice. But in reading 
silently we do not use our voice at all. 

A.-S. a- on, Mud loud. SYN. : Audibly, dis- 
tinctly, loudly, plainly, vociferously. ANT. : 
Inaudibly, noiselessly, softly. 

alow (a 16'), adv. In a low, or lower, 
place. (F. en has.) 

We do not use this word in ordinary con- 
versation, but it is used by sailors to denote 
the placing of something in the lower part of a 
vessel. For example, a ship's cargo is gener- 
ally placed alow in what is called the hold. 

E. a- =on, in, and low. 





The Heights of South-west Europe and what they Do for Health and Happiness 


alp (alp), n. A lofty mountain ; a moun- 
tain pasture. (F. haute montagne.) 

Though a comparatively small range, the 
Alps of South-west Europe are yet the most 
famous mountains in the world. This is due 
iartly to their beauty, but still more to their 
istorical importance. They were the 
oundary between the civilization of Rome 
and the barbarism of northern Europe. The 
chief passes through them have been the 
scene of mighty conflicts between the nations 
on either side. 

Among the mountains there has dwelt 
a race of hardy mountaineers, poor but 
of a sturdy independence, and marked out 
by patriots such as Arnold von Winkelried, 
who is said to have given his life for 
his country at the battle of Sempach, 

In recent years the Alps have become the 
" playground of the world," and in summer 
they are the resort of the keen alpinist (al' 
pin ist, n.), armed with rope and alpenstock 
(al' pen stok n.), or iron-shod stick, for 
scaling the ice-capped peaks. In winter 
there are almost as many visitors who take 
part in tobogganing, skating, ski-ing, and 
other winter sports. 

The wonderful rosy colour of the rising or 
setting sun reflected on the snow-capped 
summits, whi h sometimes reappears when 

the original colour has faded, is called the 
alpen-glow (51' pen glo, n.). There is no 
more glorious scenery in the world than the 
glistening Alps. 

The mountain pastures, which in German 
Switzerland are always known as alps, are 
grazed by numerous cattle, and from their 
milk the cheese and condensed milk for which 
Switzerland is noted are prepared. Some- 
times the cows are summoned home by a long 
wooden alpenhorn (al' pen horn, n.) which 
looks like an enormous tobacco pipe and gives 
a musical note that awakens the echoes of 
the surrounding mountains. First used by 
the warriors of Switzerland to call their men 
to arms, the alpenhorn now survives as an 
instrument devoted to the most peaceful of 

The Alpine (al' pin, adj.) race are a round- 
headed, broad-faced people, inhabiting the 
mountain backbone of central Europe and 
western Asia, who entered Europe in the 
middle Stone Age. Another name is the 
Armenoid race. They are a sub-division of 
the Caucasian race, coming between the 
blond Nordic and the dark Iberian types, 
both of which have long skulls. Many scien- 
tists 'now consider that the round-heads are 
merely a physical variety of the two main 

L. Alpes, a Celtic word, possibly related to 
L. albus, white. 

Alp. The snow-capped peak of the alp known as the Mdnch, 14,105 ft. high, one of the many lofty peaks 
of the beautiful ranee of mountains in South-west Europe called the Alps. 




alpaca (al pak' a); n. A South American 
animal of the camel family ; its wool; a 
fabric made from this or similar wool. adj. 
Made of. this fabric. (F. alpaca, alpaga.} 

This relative of the camel is one of the 
most valuable of the wool-bearing animals 
of South America. It has very long hair and 
no hump, and is a cousin of the llamas, some 
of whom draw the little carriages at the 
London Zoo. In olden times the Indians of 
Peru, noting the splendid fleeces of the 
gtianacos, as the alpacas are called in their 
wild state, tamed them to their uses, and now 
large flocks of alpacas graze on the highlands 
of Peru and Bolivia. 

For centuries the Indians had made cloth 
of alpaca wool, but when Europeans tried to 
copy them they found it very difficult to 
work up the wool into a satisfactory fabric. 
In 1836, however, a Bradford manufacturer, 
Sir Titus Salt, invented machinery which 
could deal with it, and ever since the manu- 
facture of alpacas has centred in Bradford. 

Span, from Arab, al the, paco (the Peruvian 

alpha (al' fa), n. The first letter of the 
Greek alphabet. (F. alpha.} 

Alpha (a) is sometimes used to mark the 
first of a series, or the beginning, as the last 
letter omega is used for the last or. the end, 
hence the Scriptural phrase, " I am Alpha 
and Omega " (Revelation 1.8). In astronomy 
the Greek letters indicate the order of Wight- 
ness of members of a constellation, or group 
of fixed stars. Thus the brightest star in 
Orion is Alpha Orionis (a Orionis), also called 
Betelgeuse, while Rigel is Beta () and 
Bellatrix is Gamma (7). 

Alpha is the Graecized form of Aleph ( = ox), 
the first letter of the Phoenician alphabet. 

alphabet (al' fa bet), n. The letters or 
characters of a language arranged in order. 
(F. alphabet.} 

The interesting story of the English 
alphabet and that of each of its letters is told 
on pp. vii-xx. 

We alphabetize (al' fa bet Iz, v.t.} the words 
of a dictionary and the entries in an index, 
or arrange them in alphabetic (al fa bet' ik, 
adj.} or alphabetical (al fa bet' ik al, adj.} 
order. Any word or entry can be easily found 
when thus alphabetically (al fa bet' ik al li, 
adv.} arranged. 

Gr. alphabetos, L. alphabetum, from alpha and 
beta, from Phoenician aleph and beth ( = house), 
the two first letters of the alphabet. 

alpha rays (al' fa raz), Particles 
given off by radio-active substances. (F. 
rayons alpha.} 

The atoms of certain substances, such as 
radium, explode and give off particles of 
different kinds called rays. Of these rays 
the alpha rays are the most important, and 
consist of atoms of helium carrying a double 
charge of positive electricity. This means 
that the atom of helium has lost two of its 
electrons in the explosion of the radium atom 
which sent it forth. 

Alpini (al pe' ne), n. A special division of 
the Italian army. (F. Alpini.} 

The Alpini are soldiers trained for service 
in Alpine (see alp) or mountainous regions. 

already (awl red' i), adv. Before or by 
some specified time. (F. dejd.) 

Sometimes in legal actions the jury, having 
already made up their minds, record their 
verdict without retiring to consider it. 

E. a/ = all, and ready. 

Alsatia (al sa' shi a), n. The old name of 
Alsace ; a sanctuary for debtors and 
criminals. (F. Alsace.) 

Lying on the frontier of two powerful 
nations, France and Germany, Alsace became 
a coveted land in very early times. Hence, 
like the men of the Welsh marshes and of the 

Alsatian. A fair daughter of Alsace wearing the 
big bow which is part of the national costume. 

English and Scottish border, the Alsatians 
developed a spirit of sturdy independence. 

The district of Whitefriars in London was 
at one time a sanctuary for debtors and 
criminals, and was nicknamed Alsatia be- 
cause it was the resort of men who showed 
their independence by taking the law into 
their own hands. Thus the word came to be 
used for any place of refuge for law-breakers, 
and Alsatian (al sa' shi an, n.) for a person 
who lived a law-defying life. 

The country has given the name Alsatian 
to a well-known breed of handsome dogs 
that look very much like wolves. 

alsike (al' sik), n. A kind of clover. 
(F. trefle bdtard.} 

In the south of Sweden, where the soil is 
cold and moist, there grows the alsike clover, 
which gets its name from a town close to 




Upsala. It has flowers of pink or white and 
is a valuable cattle food. It sometimes 
grows to a height of three feet. 

alsirat (al se' rat), n. The bridge which 
spans the gulf between earth and paradise 
according to the Mohammedan scriptures. It 
is finer than a hair or a razor's edge, and only 
those who pass over it enter into blessedness 

Arab, el sirat, literally meaning " the road.' 

also (awl' so), adv. and prep. Likewise 
in. like manner : in addition. (F. aussi 

To a certain extent, the word also and the 
word and are alike, but the former gives a 
little more emphasis. For example, when we 
say : " He brought coats and mackintoshes, 
also rubber shoes," we wish to make a little 
more emphatic the fact that in addition to 
the first two items, the third was brought. 

If we had merely said :".... and rubber 
shoes," there would not have been any 
suggestion that the last item was one which 
many people might have forgotten. 

A.-S. eallswa, all (entirely) so. SYN. : Besides 
likewise, too. ANT. : But, nevertheless, yet. 

alt (alt), n. The higher part ; high tone. 
(F. haul.) 

In music .the word is short for alto (high), 
and is used in compound words like alt-horn 
and alt-clarinet. Notes are said to be 
in alt when they are in the first octave above 
the treble staff ; for example, G in alt. A 
person who is in alt is " high up in himself," 
either very dignified, or very excited, or very 
extravagant in his views. 

Ital. alto, from L. altus high. 

Altaic (al ta' ik), adj. Of or belonging to 
certain peoples and their languages. (F. 

The term Altaic is somewhat loosely ap- 
plied, and it does not necessarily mean of or 
belonging to people living in the Altai moun- 
tains, the richest valleys of which are in- 
habited by Russians. Under the name 
Altaians are included certain tribes of the 
Altai region and north-west Mongolia, the 
Ostiaks and the Samoyeds of western 
Siberia, who are related to the eastern Finns. 

The whole group has intermixed with 
peoples of Mongolian or Turkish stock. They 
have lost their own language, and some of the 
tribes appear to be dying out. By the 
Russians they are called Tatars. 

altar (awl' tar), n. A table or slab on 
which sacrifice is offered ; a communion 
table. (F. autei.) 

The altar is usually the most striking 
object in a church. It is covered with a linen 
cloth, called the altar-cloth (.), and is 
decorated in front with an altar-frontal (n.). 
Behind it is often a piece of sculpture called 
the altar-piece (n.) or altar-screen (n.). If 
the top of the altar is made of stone it is 
called the altar-slab (n.) or altar-stone (n.), 
names also given to the stone part of an 
altar on which the chalice and other 
vessels stand. 

Altar. The altar of St. Paul's Cathedral. London, 
bowing the altar-frontal and the altar-screen. 




In the year 1170 King Henry II had a 
quarrel with the Archbishop of Canterbury, 
Thomas Becket. One day in a moment of 
rage he cried out : " Will none of the 
knights who eat bread at my table rid me of 
this troublesome priest? " Four knights 
made their way quickly to Canterbury 
Cathedral. When Becket heard of their 
coming he guessed their purpose, and took 
his place before the altar, on which was laid 
out the precious altar-plate (n.) used in the 
Mass The knights, who had been lurking 
behind a pillar, rushed out and killed him. 

There was a great outcry against the King 
and Becket was buried in a splendid altar- 
tomb (n.), where many pilgrims came to 
pray. The pilgrims of whom Chaucer tells 
in the " Canterbury Tales " were on their 
way to the tomb of Becket. 

M.E. alter, A.-S. alter, altar, c.p. O.F. alter, 
auter, L. altare high place, from altus high. 

altazimuth (al taz' i muth), n. An in 
strument for finding the exact position of a 
star in the sky. (F. altazimnt.} 

Just as the exact position of any place on 
the earth's surface is given by its latitude and 
longitude, so that of anv star in the heavenr, 
is given by its altitude and azimuth, that is, 
by its height above the horizon, and its 
distance east or west of a point due south 
of tne observer. 

An altazimuth consists of a telescope so 
mounted that it" can be pointed to any part 
of the sky, being movable horizontallv as well 
as vertically to any point of the compass. 

Altazimuth is a contraction of altitude- 
azimuth, the second element being from Arab. 
es-sumut the ways, parts of the horizon. 

alter (awl' ter). v.t. To change ; to vary. 
v.i. To undergo change or variation. (F. 
changer, varier : se changer, varier.) 

So many British merchant ships were being 
sunk by enemy submarines during the first 
year of the World War (1914-18) that it 
was decided to alter their appearance by 
painting their sides in broad, zig-zag lines of 
different colours. This process, called camou- 
flage, ensured greater safety, for the alteration 
(awl ter a' shun, n,) broke up their sharp 
outline and made them less easy to spot by 
the enemy. It was the suggestion o f 
Mr. Norman Wilkinson. 

Some animals have thepo\ver of changing 
their outward appearance or colouring. The 
chameleon is one which has this quality of 
alterability (awl ter a bil' i ti, n.), its colour 
being alterable (awl' ter ab 1, adj.) on account 
of the cells beneath its skin containing yellow, 
red, and black colouring matter. 

A medicine which cures a disease gradually 
is called an alterative (n.), or an alterative 
(awl' ter a tiv adj.) drug. Any medicines, 
even powerful ones, may have this effect, 
which is dependent on the manner in which 
they are taken. 

L.L.alterafe (from alter other) to make different. 
SYN. : Change, convert, modify, substitute, 
transform. ANT. : Arrest, conserve, perpetuate, 
preserve, retain. 

altercation (awl ter ka' shun), n. Debate ; 
w'ordy dispute. (F. altercation.) 

People who altercate (awl' ter kat, v.i.), or 
engage in a hot dispute, in the street, lay 
themselves open to arrest on a charge of 
being disorderly. In giving evidence against 
prisoners charged with such an offence a 
police constable may say, among other 
things, that they were having an altercation. 

L. alter catio, from alter cari (p.p. altercatus) to 
argue with another (alter). SYN. : Contention, 
controversy, dispute, quarrel, wrangle. ANT. : 
Agreement, compromise, concord, harmony, 

Alteration. During the World War ships in the British merchant service were altered in appearance 
by painting their sides in the manner shown. This change made them a difficult target at which to aim. 




alternate (awl' ter nat, v. ; awl ter' 
nat, adj.), v.t. To arrange or perform by 
turns ; to cause to succeed (come after one 
another) by turns, v.i. To happen by turns. 
adj. Done or happening by turns ; first one 
and then the other. (F. alterner ; alternatif.) 
Alternate can only properly be used of two 
things, not of three or more. Night and day 
alternate, but the seven days of the week 
succeed each other in order ; they cannot be 
said to alternate. Red and blue stripes may 
alternate on a piece of stuff. In botany a 
plant is said to have alternate leaves when 
they are placed first one on one side of the 
stem and then another lower down on the 
opposite side of the stem. A happy life may 
be said to be made up of the alternation 
(awl ter na' shun, n.) of work and leisure. 

A person may have the alternatives (awl 
ter' na tivz, of saying yes or no. An 
alternating (awl' ter nat ing, adj.) current in 
electricity is one which changes its direction 
of flow, first backwards and then forwards. 
The word alternant (awl ter' nant, adj.) 
means alternating, and is used especially in 
describing minerals that consist of alternate 
layers. We say we may go out or alterna- 
tively (awl ter' na tiv li, adv.) we may stay at 

X. alternare (p.p. alternatus) to do by turns, 
from alter other of two. SYN. : Every other one, 
interchangeable, in turn. ANT. : Continuous, 
sequent, successive. 

alternator (awl' ter na tor), n. A 
machine by which an oscillating electric 
current is produced. (F. alternateur.} 

An alternator produces alternating cur- 
rent, or in other words, current which flows 
backwards and forwards. It is also known 
as an alternating electric dynamo. Most 
houses in England which have electric light- 
ing are lighted by means of an alternating 
current, and most electric machines are driven 
by an alternating current. The same kind of 
current is used for wireless telegraphy. 

L. alternare to do by turns, from alter other of 

although (awl tho'), conj. Though ; 
admitting that ; notwithstanding. (F. 
quoique, bien que.) 

We may say " although he passed close 
by, he saw nothing," meaning " in spite of 
the fact that he passed by, he saw nothing." 
This is always the effect produced by the 
word although, which at one time was spelt 
all though, and was more forcible than though. 
E. all quite, and though (even if). 

altimeter (al tim' e ter), n. A device 
for measuring the angle between a level line 
and a line running to the sun, moon, a star, 
or some high point, such as the top of a 
mountain-. (F. altimetre.) 

A sextant is one form of altimeter. Another 

K" > the instrument carried on an aeroplane, 
irship, or balloon to show, by a hand 
loving on the dial, height above sea-level. 
L. altus high, metrum measure (Gr. metrori). 

altiscope (al' ti skop), n. A device 
having lenses and mirrors so placed in an 
upright tube that a person looking in at the 
bottom sees what he would if his eye were 
level with the top of it.' (F. altiscope.} 

Altiscopes were used a great deal by soldiers 
in the war for looking over the ~tops of 
trenches without being seen themselves. 
Instruments of this kind which can be turned 
any way to give an all-round view are called 
periscopes. They are fitted to all submarines. 

L. altus high, Gr. skopos looker, from shape in 
to look. 

Altiscope. A soldier using an altiscope to discover 

enemy movements. 

altissimo (al tis' i mo), adv. Higher than 
the fourth leger line above the treble clef, 
or stave. (F. altissimo.) 

Music for the violin is frequently written- 
in altissimo to show off the brilliant tone of 
the instrument. Music for other instruments 
is also written thus. 

Ital. superlative adv. of alto. 

altitude (al' ti tud), n. Vertical height ; 
elevation. (F. altitude.) 

We never use this word in connexion with 
the height of a person, but we speak of the 
altitude or height of a mountain. In the 
case of anything moving upwards, such as an 
aeroplane, we may say that it rose to an 
altitude of so many feet or miles. 

We say that a place is a certain altitude 
above sea-level, meaning that it stands that 
height above the sea. In astronomy we 
speak ' of the altitude or elevation of a 
heavenly body above the horizon. 

L. altitudo height, from altus high. SYN. : 
Elevation, eminence, height, loftiness. ANT. : 
Abasement, depression, depth, lowness. 




alto (al' to), n. A male singer whose voice 
is like a woman's. (F. alto.) 

Sometimes an alto voice is natural, the 
man's voice never having changed since boy- 
hood. In other cases, the man sings in 
falsetto an assumed voice. Some people 
call an alto a counter-tenor. The part sung 
by an alto is also known as alto. 

Ital. alto, from L. altus high. 

altogether (awl to geth' er), adv. Com- 
pletely ; wholly. (F. tout a fait.) 

When we say " That is not altogether 
true," we mean it is not " entirely " or 
" quite " or " completely " true. In the 
phrase " taking it altogether," we mean 
" taking everything into consideration," " in 
view of all things," or "on the whole." 

E. all quite, and together. SYN. : Collectively, 
conjointly, fully, totally, utterly. ANT. : In- 
dividually, incompletely, partially, partly. 

alto-relievo (al' to re le' vo), n. Carving, 
the figures of which stand out boldly from 
the surface. (F. haul relief.) 

Some of the most wonderful carving in the 
world is to be found on the Parthenon, the 
great temple which the ancient Greeks built 
at Athens. The carvings which decorate the 
inner part of the temple stand out very 
slightly from the background, because of the 
deep shadows which are cast there, but the 
figures which are on the outside, in the 
strong sunlight, stand out much more 
boldly. The latter are said to be in high relief 
or alto-relievo. 

Ital. alto-rilievo, from alto high, rilevare, L. 
rclevare to lift up. 

altruism (al' tru izm), n. Devotion to 
the cause of others. (F. altruisme.) 

Altruism is directly opposed to egoism. 
Altruistic (al tru is' tik, adj.) conduct is that 
which finds its motive in the pleasure or well- 
being or good of others, while "egoistic con- 
duct is inspired by consideration of one's 
own good. An altruist (al' tru ist, n.) is a 
person who acts altruistically (al tru is' tik 
al li, adv.). 

Ital. altrui others (F. autrui), contracted from 
L. alteri huic, altruic, altrui to this other. SYN. : 
Generosity, philanthropy, unselfishness. ANT : 
Egoism, selfishness, worldliness. 

alum (al' um), n. The double sulphate of 
aluminium and potassium. (F. alun.) 

This nasty-tasting crystalline substance is 
but one of the members of the great group 
of alums. Properly speaking it should be 
called " potassium alum," for we may have 
sodium alum, ammonium alum, and so on. 
Aluminium is usually present in members of 
this group (as may be judged by the name), 
though certain other elements may take its 
place. All the alums give splendid crystals, 
and they are all of the same shape. 

O.F. alum, F. alun, from L. alumen. 

alumina (alii' min a), n. The oxide of 
aluminium. (F. alumine.) 

When made artificially alumina is usually a 
white powder, but in its natural state it is 

frequently crystalline. A ruby is merely 
coloured alumina. United with water it is 
found as " bauxite," from which by electrical 
treatment we get aluminium (al u min' i 
um, n.), that light silvery metal which is used 
in making saucepans and many other things, 
and is blended yyith other metals for use in 
aeroplanes. Aluminium-bronze is a blend of 
copper and aluminium. A substance is 
aluminous (al u' min us, adj.) when chiefly 
made up of alumina or alum. 

L. alumen (gen. al-umin-is) alum. 

alumnus (a lum' mis), n. A pupil or 
student of a school or college. (F. eleve.) 

Alumnus is derived from a Latin word 
meaning to nourish. The idea is that a 
university or college supplies mental nourish- 
ment, and thus the college or university is 
" as a mother to her child " with regard to 
her students. Following up this idea, the 
alumni (a lum' nl,, after finishing their 
studies, refer to their former college or 
university as their Alma Mater, that is 
" Benign Mother." 

L. alumnus nursling, from alere to nourish, 
early p.p. alum(e)nos, Gr. -omenos. 

Alveoli. The alveoli or cells in a honeycomb. 

alveolus (al ve' 6 lus), n. A small cavity. 
(F. alveole.) 

A honeycomb is full of alveoli (al ve' 6 II,, little cavities or cells, a condition 
described as alveolate (al' ve 6 lat, adj.). 
That part of the jaws into which the teeth 
are set is alveolar (al' ve 6 lar, adj.), that is, 
contains many sockets or cavities. 

L. alveolus, dim. of alveus cavity, hollow. 

always (awl' waz), adv. All the while, 
every time ; during life. (F. loitjours, en 
tout temps.) 

A train which never arrives to time is 
always late ; a book which is constantly out 
of a library is always in demand. This word 
is often misused. For example, we say that 
it is always raining, when we really mean 
frequently raining. Alway (awl' wa, adv.) 
is now only found in poetry. 

A.-S. ealne weg every way, E. all and n'av. 
SYN. : Ever, forever, invariably, perpetually. 
ANT. : Never, occasionally, sometimes. 




alyssum (a lis' um), n. A large group of 
plants belonging to the mustard family. 
(F. alysson.) 

The alyssum bears clusters of small 
flowers each with four petals arranged in the 
form of a cross, and so they belong to the 
order Cruciferae. Rock alyssum, sometimes 
called gold dust, grows in bright yellow 
patches on rockeries, but the flowers of the 
s.veet alyssum are white and very fragrant. 

Gr. L. alysson madwort, from Gr. a not, lyssa 
madness, it being supposed to cure a dog's bite. 

am (am), part of verb " to be " used in the 
first person singular of the present tense. 
A.-S. com, cp. Gr. eimi\=esmi), L. sum(=esum). 

amadou (am' a doo), n. A German 
tinder. (F. amadou.) 

Certain fungi growing on birch, cherry, 
oak, and other trees in Germany are collected 
for the making of amadou. They will often 
smoulder without being treated in any way, 
but usually they are boiled in water, crushed 
and dried, a small quantity of saltpetre then 
being added. Besides its use as a lighting 
agent, amadou is beneficial in stopping 

The Fr. word amadouer to allure (by bait), to 
coax (as a fire), is perhaps of Scand. origin, Dan. 
mad, Swed. 'mat food (E. meat) ; or from 
Provenfal amador, L. amator lover. 

amain (a man'), adv. With full force, 
strength, or speed. (F. vigoureusement.) 

Anything which is done amain is done very 
energetically or violently. To strike amain 
means to lower or let fall at once. 

E. a- =on, and main. 

amalgamate (a mal' ga mat), v.t. ..To 
combine, v.i. To blend ; to m;x into an 
amalgam. (F. amalgamer . s' amalgarner .). . ~ 

If two societies, two sports clubs, or two 
trading companies join forces or unite they 
amalgamate, the result of such a union being 
an amalgamation (a mal ga ma' shun, n.). 
Substances capable of being mixed together 
are amalgamative (a mal' ga ma tiv, adj.), 
and the person who is responsible for their 
admixture is an amalgamator (a mal' ga ma 
tor, n.). 

An alloy or mixture of mercury with 
another metal is an amalgam (a mal' gam, .), 
an example being the silvering placed on the 
back of glass to make a mirror, which is 
formed of about three parts of mercury and 
one of tin. Mercury is used for obtaining 
gold and silver from crushed ore, and the 
process is known as amalgamation. 

L.L. amalgama soft mixture, possibly from 
Gr. malagma, from malassein to soften. SYN. : 
Blend, combine, incorporate, join, unite. ANT. : 
Analyze, decompose, disintegrate, separate. 

amanuensis (a man u en' sis), n. A 
person employed to write what another 
dictates ; a secretary. The plural is amanu- 
enses (a man u en' sez). (F. secretaire.) 

L. amanuensis, from a from, manu (ablative 
of manus) hand, and suffix -ensis. SYN. : 
Secretary, shorthand-typist. 

amaracus (a mar' a kus), n. A bulbous 
plant ; marjoram. (F. amaraque.) 

The Greek amaracus was a species of 
bulbous plant. In Tennyson's " Oenone " the 
word has the same meaning : 

And at their feet the crocus brake like fire, 
Violet, amaracus, and asphodel, 
Lotos and lilies. 

The name is also given to marjoram, an 
aromatic sweet-smelling plant belonging to 
the same order as thyme and mint, that is, 
the Labiatae. 

Gr. amarak-on, -os, L. amarac-um, -us. 

amaranth, (am' a ranth), n. A genus 
of ornamental plants, of which love-lies- 
bleeding, prince's feathers, and cock's comb 
are species. (F. amarante.) 

The word amaranthus (am a ranth' us, 
adj.) is a corruption of amarantus (am a rant' 
us, adj.) meaning unfading, everlasting, or 
incorruptible. Thus the " crown of glory 
that fadeth not away " is the " amarantine 
(am a rant' in, adj.) crown " ; and Milton 
speaks of " amaranthine (am a ranth' in, adj.) 
bowers " (" Paradise Lost," xi, 78). The 
amaranth of the poets is an imaginary fade- 
less flower, but in the actual amaranths a 
number of coloured scales or bracts remain 
fresh-looking for quite a long time. 

Gr. amarantos, from a- = not, marainein to 
fade, L. amarantus. Th is due to a supposed 
connexion with Gr. anthos flower. 

Amaryllis. A genus of plants that includes the 
beautiful belladonna lily. 

amaryllis (am a ril' lis), . A genus of 
bulbous plants bearing beautiful lily-like 
flowers ; a country girl. (F. amaryllisl) 

The narcissus, snowdrop, and jonquil be- 
long to the same natural order, and among 
foreign species are the so-called belladonna 
lily and the Guernsey lily. All these flowers 
differ from true lilies in having the ovary 
or seed-vessel below the flower. 

Amaryllis was a beautiful country girl, 
beloved of the shepherd Tityrus, about whom 



we read in Virgil. In Milton's " Lycidas " 
we have the line " To sport with Amaryllis 
in the shade." 

The name perhaps means " with glancing 
eyes." from Gr. amaryssem to twinkle, sparkle. 

amass (a mas'), v.t. To heap together : 
pile up ; collect. (F. amasser.) 

A boy may amass a large number ol 
stamps, a man may amass wealth or in- 
formation. In old books one sometimes reads 
of the amassing of people, the word being 
then used in the sense of assembling or 
gathering together, but in modern English 
it is not used in this way. 

L. ad to, massa dough-like lump, mass (=Gr. 
maza, barley-cake). SYN. : Accumulate, collect, 
gather, get together, muster. ANT. : Disperse, 
distribute, scatter, spread, waste. 

Amass. Sorting a huge collection of Christmas 
parcels amassed at the General Post Office, London. 

amateur (am' a tur ; am a ter'), n. One who 
practises an art, a pastime or an occupation 
for the love of it, or without receiving pay- 
ment, adj. Not professional. (F. amateur.} 

When we indulge in any hobby or pastime 
we generally do so because we are interested 
in that hobbv or pastime. If we practise it 
because we like it, we may not be very 
successful, but we still derive pleasure from 
the indulgence. We do not need to enter 
into competition with others, for we are not 
seeking to obtain profit of any kind. 

Thus it often happens that an amateur's 
work is inferior to professional work of the 
same kind, so there has grown into use the 
employment of the word amateur as an 
adjective, signifying not professional or not 
so well done. For instance, we talk of a 
person's amateur efforts, though more usually 
when we wish to imply that they are not up 
to the professional standard we use ama- 
teurish (am a tur' ish, adj.). Amateurishness 
(am a tur' ish nes, n.) is the quality of being 
below the professional standard. Ama- 
teurism (am' a tur izm, n.) is the state or 

practice of being an amateur, or, in other 
words, of being able to do things only 
amateurishly (am a tur' ish li, adv.). 

The meaning of amateur varies in different 
branches of sport and the rules of the govern- 
ing body of each sport should be read to 
understand the exact status or standing of an 
amateur in any particular branch. In 
cricket, amateurs and professionals, or 
players who receive payment, are permitted 
to play together in one team, but in football 
certain exceptions are made. Amateurs may 
play for professional clubs in Association 
football, but professionals may not play for 
amateur clubs without obtaining the per- 
mission of the Football Association. 

In Rugby football amateurs may not play 
lor professional clubs, nor may professionals 
take part in amateur matches. If an ama- 
teur takes money for his services, and the 
lact is made known to the governing body 
of the sport in which he takes part, the latter 
refuse to allow him to play again as an ama- 

In most sports there is no rule to prevent 
amateurs and professionals playing with or 
against one another as long as the amateurs 
do not receive more than their out-of-pocket 
expenses. Some of the most important 
cricket, football not Rugby football and 
golf matches are played between paid and 
unpaid players, and in cricket one of the 
highest honours is to be chosen to play in the 
annual Gentlemen versus Players, that is, 
amateurs versus professionals, matches. 

L. amator lover, one who is fond of anything 
for itself. SYN. : Devotee dilettante, novice, 
tyro, votary. 

amative (am' a tiv), adj. Disposed to 
loving. (F. amoureux.) 

Some people claim that they can tell the 
character of a person from the shape of his 
head. If he is supposed to be amative they 
feel the base of his skull for indications of 
amativeness (am' a tiv nes, n.). 

Amative is formed as if from a (non-existent) 
L. adj. amativus (from amatus (p.p. oiamare). 

amatory (am' a to ri), adj. Relating to a 
lover or love. (F. amoureux.) 

A poem on love is an amatory poem. 
Certain muscles of the eye are called 
amatorial (am a tor' i al, adj.) muscles be- 
cause they come into use in casting side- 
long amatory glances. 

L. amatorius, from amator lover, and suffix 
-ins belonging to. 

amaurosis (am aw ro' sis), n. Loss of 
sight. (F. goutte sereine, amaiirose.) 

Decay of the optic or eye nerve is now 
known to cause amaurosis, but the name used 
to be that of blindness without visible defect 
to account for it. An old name for amaurosis 
was gutta serena (see the French name above) , 
or " drop serene." 

Milton, in his great epic poem. Paradise 
Lost " (iii. 25-26), remembering his own 
blindness which he thought due to a cataract, 




or film or suffusion, laments for eyes that 
cannot see the light : 

So thick a drop serene hath quenched these orbs, 

Or dim suffusion veil'd. 

Eyes which are affected with this kind of 
blindness are said to be amaurotic (am aw 
rot' ik, adj.}. 

Gr. amaurosis, from a- intensive prefix, mauros 

amaze (a maz'), v.t. To cause wonder to ; 
to surprise greatly. (F. etonner.) 

Strictly this word means to 
cause wonder together with a 
feeling akin to fear, or dismay, 
or loss of presence of mind. 
The sight of snow amazes the 
natives of the tropics ; it aston- 
ishes and puzzles them. The 
ships of Columbus filled the 
natives of America with amaze- 
ment (a maz' ment, n.) ; they 
were quite bewildered. The 
question : " Why stands Mac- 
beth (iv, i) thus amazedly ? " 
(a maz' ed li, adv.) suggests a 
state of stupor or dismay. 

We often use the words 
amazing (a maz' ing, adj.) and 
amazingly (a maz' ing li, adv.) 
to describe something extra- 
ordinary, as when we say that 
someone is amazingly clever, 
or is making amazing progress. 

A.-S. a intensive prefix, and 
maze. SYN. : Awe, bewilder, con- 
fuse, perplex, surprise. ANT. : 
Calm, prepare. 

Amazon (am' a zon), n. One 
ol a race of female warriors ; 
a horsewoman ; a masculine 
woman. (F. amazone.) 

Though of fabled origin the 
Amazons represent a type of 
fighting woman which has 
existed since the dawn of his- 
tory. In South America the Spanish con- 
querors met in combat many parties of 
armed women, and from that fact called the 
country Amazonia and its principal river the 

In the Indian Mutiny a Mahratta princess, 
mounted and armed, led troops against 
British forces. More recently in the World 
War (1914-18) regiments of women were 
raised in Russia and fought first under the 
Imperial flag, and later under the Soviet 
flag. Still later in the Chinese Revolution 
regiments of females took part in the fighting. 

Amazonian (am a zo' ni an) means strong, 
well built, like an Amazon. A tall masculine 
woman is so described, often playfully. 

ambassador (am bas a dor), n. A person 
sent by a ruler of a country to represent 
that country in another country. (F. 

An ambassador is said to be accredited to 
mother country, and when he is resident 


there he is said to be an ambassador ordinary. 
When he is sent on a special mission, however, 
he is called an ambassador extraordinary, and 
when he is given special powers, as for signing 
treaties on behalf of his country, he is called 
an ambassador plenipotentiary. 

Duties carried out by an ambassador are 
called ambassadorial (am bas a dor' i a], adj.), 
and the wife of an ambassador, or a female 
ambassador, is an ambassadress (am bas' 
a dres, n.). Ambassador is sometimes used 
_ in the sense of an intermediary 
or messenger. If two people 
quarrel, a third person may act 
as an ambassador between the 
two, and try to settle their 
differences and bring about a 

Ambassadors are highly im- 
portant and privileged persons, 
ranking niter royalty. An 
ambassador is not allowed to 
take part in the politics of the 
country to which he is ac- 
credited, and is not subject to 
the civil laws of the country in 
which he is resident, his house 
being supposed to be part of 
the country to which he be- 
longs. The recall or dismissal 
of an ambassador is often the 
signal for an outbreak of war, 
and the British ambassador was 
recalled from Berlin in such 
circumstances in August, 1914, 
when the World War began. 

The ambassador of the Pope 
is called a nuncio, literally a 

L.L. ambasciator, ambactiator, 
Irom ambactus vassal, a word of 
Celtic origin, perhaps connected 
with ambi- round, about, actus 
driven, sent. SYN. : Envoy, 
legate, minister, plenipotentiary. 
amber (am' ber), n. A yellowish fossil 
resin, adj. Made of amber ; of amber 
colour. (F. ambre ; ambrt.) 

Amber is the resin from fir and similar 
trees which lived hundreds of thousands of 
years ago. Usually we can see through it, 
but not nearly so clearly as through ordinary 
glass. It often puzzles people who find amber 
to see buried in it an insect or part of a plant. 
The insect settled on the resin when the 
latter was soft and sticky and oozing from 
the tree, was caught, and finally embalmed, 
as it were, when the amber became hard. 

Amber is found chiefly on the southern 
shores of the Baltic, but it may often be seen 
on the east coast of England. Sicilian 
amber is red, with green and blue lights 
in it. 

The Greek philosophers were very inter- 
ested in amber. One of them, Theophrastus, 
a pupil of Aristotle, found that some unknown 
force must be at work when amber was 
rubbed, and Pliny pointed out the same 

j I 

bassador. An ambassador 
in ambassadorial dress. 



thing. We now know that this unknown 
force was electricity, and amber may be said 
to be the first substance in which was found 
the force that has given us broadcasting, 
telegraphy, and electric light. The Greek 
word for' amber, indeed, is elektron, from 
which we get our word electricity. 

L.L. ambar, F. ambre. from Arab, 'anbar 
(pronounced 'ambar). 

Amber. The scorpion embedded in this piece of amber was caught 
when the resin was oozing from the tree. 

ambergris (am' ber gres), n. A grey 
fatty substance with red marble-like veins 
running through it, found floating in tropical 
seas or thrown up on the shore. (F. ambre 

When we enjoy certain scents we are 
probably smelling what was once inside a 
whale, for ambergris is a substance which is 
obtained from the bile of the sperm whale, 
and is used in the making of scents. It 
is worth several pounds an ounce, and once a 
native of the Bahamas, from which island 
much ambergris comes, found a mass weighing 
over 8,000 ounces, all from one whale. 

F. ambre gris grey amber. 

ambidexter (am bi dek' ster), adj. Using 
both hands equally well ; double-dealing. 
n. One who can use both hands equally well. 
(F. ambidextre.) 

Most children are taught from an early age 
to use their right hand, and that is why they 
are not able to use their left hand so well 
when they grow up. If only parents would 
teach their children to use both hands and 
so become ambidexter or ambidextrous (am bi 
dek' striis, adj.) they would be able to act 
ambidextrously (am bi dek' striis li, adv.) 
when they grew up, and profit by their 
ambidexterity (am bi dek ster' i ti, n.) or 
ambidextrousness (am bi dek' striis nes, n.). 

Many surgeons and painters are ambi- 
dextrous, but their ability to use both hands 
equally well takes a different form to that of 
certain double-dealing lawyers of early days 
who were said to be ambidextrous because 
they accepted bribes from both parties to a 

L. ambi on both sides, dexter (adj.) on the 
right hand. 

ambient (am ' bi ent) , adj. That which sur- 
rounds completely. (F. ambiant.) 

When we go bathing and dive into the 
river or sea, we plunge out of the ambient 

air into the ambient water ; that is, out of 
air which completely surrounds our bodies 
into water which does the same. 

L. ambiens (gen. -entis), pres. p. of ambire 
to go round, from ambi round, ire to go. SYN. : 
Circumfusing, enclosing, encompassing, invest- 
ing, surrounding. ANT. : Infiltrating, inter- 
vening, penetrative, permeating. 

ambiguous (am big' u us), adj. Of doubt- 
ful meaning. (F. : ambigu, 
douteux, equivoque.) 

If we ask a question and get 
an answer which might mean 
one thing and yet might mean 
another, that is an ambiguous 
answer. Yellowy-green and 
bluey-yellow are examples of 
ambiguous colours, for they are 
not quite clearly one thing or 
the other. To answer a question 
in an uncertain way is to answer 
ambiguously (am big' u lis li, 
adv.). To have the quality .of 
uncertain meaning is to have 
ambiguity (am bi gu' i ti, 
n.) or ambiguousness (am big' u lis nes, n.). 

L. ambiguus uncertain, from ambi. about 
both ways, agere to drive. SYN. : Doubtful, 
equivocal, obscure, uncertain, vague. ANT. : 
Clear, lucid, obvious, plain, unmistakable. 

ambit (am' bit), n. Extent, bounds or 
precincts. (F. contour.) 

We say that the ambit of the Metropolitan 
Police (London) is roughly a circle of fifteen 
miles radius from Charing Cross, meaning 
that the Metropolitan Police patrol and 
guard an area covered by this radius. 

L. ambitus going round, from ambi round, ire 
to go. 

ambition (am bish' lin), n. Desire for 
power, honour, credit, or advantage ; the 
object so desired. (F. ambition.) 

Although one may strive to attain some 
ambition in an honest way, atnbitiousness (am 
bish' lis nes, n.) often leads to dishonest and 
unjust methods being employed. Such was 
the case with the ambitious (am bish' lis, adj.) 
Cardinal Wolsey, the Chancellor of Henry 
VIII, who was ambitiously (am bish' us li, 
adv.) inclined from an early age. 

L. ambitio (gen. -onis), from ambire to go round 
(canvassing for votes). SYN. : Aspiration, com- 
petition, emulation, rivalry. ANT. : Careless- 
ness, contentment, indifference. 

amble (a.m'bl), v.i. To walk slowly ; to 
idle along ; (of animals) to walk by lifting 
two feet on one side one after the other ; to 
ride slowly. (F. aller I'amble.) 

Parents sometimes say to their children, 
" Hurry up, don't amble along like that ! ' 
when they are dawdling or walking idly 
along. A slow walking pace is an amble (n.), 
and a person who takes things easily on a 
walk, or walks lazily along, is called an 
ambler (am bier, n.). 

O.F. ambler, L. ambulare to walk, go round 
(perhaps connected with Gr. bainein to go) 
SYN. : Dawdle, stroll. ANT. : Hasten, hurry. 




amblyopia (am bli o' pi a), adj. Dim 
sight. (F. amblyopie.) 

The partial blindness called amblyopia is 
due to decay of the optic or eye nerve (see 
amaurosis) . Eyesight affected in this way is 
called amblyopie (am bli op' ik, adj.). 

Gr. amblyopia, from amblys blunt, dull, 
dps (gen. opos) eye. 

Ambo. The reading-desk or ambo used in early 

Christian churches which was the forerunner of the 

pulpit and lectern used to-day. 

ambo (am' bo), n. A kind of pulpit or 
reading-desk used in early churches. (F. 

In churches where there was only one 
ambo it was three-decked. From the top 
story the Gospel was sung, sermons were 
preached, and announcements given out. 
The epistle was read from the middle story, 
and other parts of the Scriptures from the 
lowest story. If there were two ambos, one 
was used for the Gospel and the other for the 
epistle. The ambo was the forerunner of the 
pulpit and lectern. For the plural we use 
both the English form ambos (am' boz) and 
the Latin form ambones (am bon' ez.) 

Gr. ambon crest of a hill, high place, from 
anabainein to go up, ascend, L.L. ambo. 

Amboyna-wood (am boi' na wud.) n. 
The wood of a tree which grows in Amboyna, 
an island in the Dutch East Indies. (F. 
bois d'Amboine.) 

It has a beautiful grain, and is largely 
used in the making of high-class furniture. 

ambrine (am' bren), n. A mixture of 
amber resin and melted paraffin wax used 
to relieve burns and scalds. (F. ambrine.) 

The melted ambrine is generally applied by 
means of an ambrine candle, which is lighted 
and the ambrine allowed to drip on the burn. 
Ambrine was first made use of in Europe by a 
French doctor in 1904, though it had been 
used by the Chinese in the Boxer rebellion 
of 1900. During the World War (1914-18) 
it was used as a temporary and soothing 
dressing for wounds. 

L.L. ambra, and chemical suffix -ine. 

ambrosia (am bro' zi a), n. A genus of 
plants ; the fabled food or drink of the 
gods ; bee-bread. (F. ambroisie.) 

The ambrosia genus of- coarse annual 
weeds includes the ragweed and the Roman 
wormwood of America. There is no British 

Ambrosia was the fabled food of the gods, 
or their equally fabulous drink, and sweet- 
smelling oil, each of which could make the 
gods immortal. Hence anything regarded as 
divinely beautiful, exquisite or delightful, was 
said to be ambrosial (am bro' zi al, adj.), and 
the dew of heaven was said by the poets to 
smell ambrosially (am bro' zi al li, adv.). 
The Greeks called a certain herb ambrosia 
because they thought its constant use ren- 
dered men long-lived. According to some this 
was the wild parsley, to others the wild sage, 
or one of the goosefoot family. 

Bee-bread is a mixture of honey and pollen 
with which bees feed their grubs. 

Gr. ambrosia, from ambrotos immortal, cp. L. 

ambulance (am' bu lans), n. A stretcher 
on wheels, cart, motor-wagon, or aeroplane 
for carrying wounded or very sick people. 
(F. ambulance.) 

In a wider sense the word means a moving 
hospital which follows an army in the field. 
In this sense it covers not only the vehicles 
already named, but the tents, beds, drugs, 
instruments, and other things needed for a 
hospital, and the officers and men who gather 
and look after the wounded. 

Ambulance. A stretcher about to be placed in an 
air-ambulance ready for instant service. 

Air-ambulances are now used for taking 
dangerously ill people a long way to hospital. 
In British Guiana an air-ambulance flies 
between the low coast lands and a hospital 
high up in the mountains, which could 
otherwise be reached only with difficulty. 

F. (hdpital) ambulant, L. ambulans, pres. p. of 
ambulare to walk about. 

ambulate (am' bu lat), v.i. To walk 
about. (F. se promener.) 

The act of walking is ambulation (am bu 
la' shun, n.) and an ambulant (am' bu lant, 




adj.) person is one who is walking or moving 

Ambulatory (am bu la' to ri, adj.) implies 
moving, or not fixed, and refers also to 
walking or one who walks. As a noun the 
term refers to any kind of corridor, includ- 
ing the cloisters of a cathedral or monastery 
and the aisles of a church. 

L. ambulare (ambi-bulare) , perhaps connected 
with Gr. bainein to go. SYN. : gamble, saunter, 
stroll, walk. ANT. : Halt, pause, stand still. 

ambuscade (am bus kad'), n. A hiding 
force to surprise an enemy ; a trap to catch 
an enemy ; the place where forces are hidden 
for surprise, v.t. To place in ambush ; to 
lie in wait for. v.i. To lie in wait. (F. 
embuscade, embuche ; embusquer ; s'em- 

Ambuscades are always being tried in war, 
so that an enemy can be surprised and de- 
feated before he can defend himself properly. 
To guard against them, an army on the march 
is protected from surprise as far as possible 
by scouts, cavalry, and aeroplanes that go 
on ahead and keep a sharp look out for any 
signs of a hidden enemy. 

When the early settlers in America first 
began to fight with the Red Indians, the 
latter were very clever at hiding in ambush 
(am' bush, n.), to use a word with the same 
meanings as ambuscade. They used to 
ambush (v.t.) themselves behind trees. 

During the South African War the Boers 
were skilful at forming ambuscades. The most 
famous of these ambuscades was that laid by 
De Wet, the Boer leader, at Sanna's Post, 
near Bloemfontein, in March, 1900, when 
several hundred British soldiers were trapped. 

L.L. imboscare to set a trap, from im- in in, 
boscus bush, wood. 

Ambuscade. Troops equipped with a machine-gun 
waiting in ambush to surprise the enemy. 

ameer (a mer'), n. A Mohammedan title 
of honour. Amir is another spelling. (F. 

In those countries where the Mohammedan 
religion is practised certain tribal rulers 
assume the title of ameer (amir or emir). It 
is an interesting fact that the English word 
admiral is derived from the Arabic word 
amir, meaning a lord or chief. 

There is an Ameer of Afghanistan, and in 
1839-42 and 1878-80, Great Britain was en- 
gaged in what were called the Afghan Wars 
for the purpose of restoring the rightful ruler 
to the throne there, and also to prevent 
Russia and Persia from obtaining too great 
an influence in the country. During the 
second war, General Sir F. (later Lord) 
Roberts made his famous march from Kabul 
to Kandahar. 

Arab, amir ruler, from amara to command, 

ameliorate (a me' li or at), v.t. To make 
better, v.i. To grow better. (F. ameliorer ; 
s' ameliorer .) 

This word is used in the exact sense of 
making better, as opposed to curing entirely. 
For example, in the case of a doctor and a 
patient, we might say : " The doctor gave 
the man something to ameliorate his con- 
dition,'-' meaning to improve his condition. 

We should describe this doctor's act as 
amelioration (a me li 6 ra' shun, n.) of the 
man's condition, the measures taken as 
ameliorative (a me' li or a tiv, adj.) and the 
doctor himself as the ameliorator (a me' li 
or a tor, n.) of the man's pain. 

L.L. ameliorare, from a- =ad to, besides, 
meliorare to make better (melior). SYN. : 
Amend, better, improve, relieve. ANT. : De- 
generate, deteriorate, injure. 

amen (a men' ; a men'), inter. So be it. 
(F. amen.) 

In the Christian religion, we add this word 
at the end of a prayer or a hymn or a con- 
fession of our faith as a token that we mean 
all we have said, recited, sung, or confessed. 
In Egyptian mythology there is a god called 
Amen, or Ammon, and the name in this 
connexion means " the hidden one." 

L. Gr. Hebr. amen verily. The Hebrew noun 
means " truth." 

amenable (a men' abl), adj. Liable to be 
called to account ; submissive. (F. respons- 
able ; soumis.) 

A criminal is amenable to the law, or liable 
to be dealt with by the law, and a person 
who listens to sound advice is amenable to 
reason or amenably (a me' na bli, adv.) dis- 
posed. The state of being amenable is 
amenability (a me na bil' i ti, n.), or amenable- 
ness (a me' na bl nes, n.). 

F. amener, from a to, mener to conduct, from 
L.L. a- =ad to, minare to lead from one place to 
another. SYN. : Accountable, answerable, liable, 
tractable. ANT. : Autocratic, independent, 

amend (a mend'), v.t. To alter (a person or 
a thing)-for the better, v.i. To become better. 
(F. amender ; s'amender.) 

Among things that we may correct or 
amend are errors in writing or printed 
matter. A Bill before Parliament may 
also be amended, and such a thing is 
amendable (a mend' abl, adj.), and the 
change for the better is called an amendment 
(a mend' ment, n.). 




A Member of Parliament who believes that 
there is something in a Bill which can be im- 
proved upon, and which he wishes to have 
inserted, proposes an amendment. It some- 
times happens that by the time a Bill has 
passed through Parliament and received the 
royal assent, and has thus become law, it has 
almost entirely lost its original form. 

We use the word amends (a mendz', 
in the singular, not the plural, sense, meaning 
to compensate, or make up for, a loss . or 

L. emendare to remove a fault, from e out of, 
mendum fault. SYN. : Correct, im- 
prove, reform, rectify. ANT. : 
Aggravate, corrupt, harm. 

amenity (a me' ni ti), n. 
Pleasantness ; (} pleasant 
ways, attractions. (F. amenite.) 

This word may be used with 
reference to the pleasantness of 
a place in connexion either 
with its climate, its position, or 
the manners and customs of 
its inhabitants. Before the days 
of civilization, human beings did 
not give much attention to the 
pleasant side, or the amenities 
of life. Life was a hard struggle, 
and they thought chiefly of their 
practical needs. 

As time passed on, man found 
out the meaning of comfort by 
making things for his own and 
his neighbour's use, and with 
more comfort he became less 
anxious to spend his time in 
fighting. Neighbours became 
friends instead of enemies ; homes 
were made for comfort as well as 
merely for shelter and protection. 
So the amenities of life gradu- 
ally grew up, and life itself as a 
consequence became a more 
pleasant thing. 

L. amoenitas, from amoenus 
pleasant. SYN. : Amiability, gentle- 
ness, mildness, softness. 

ament (a ment'), n. The 
botanical name for a catkin. (F. 

The Latin word amentum (a 
ment' um), pi. amenta (a ment' 
a), really means a thong or spike, 
and it is easy to see why this name was 
given to the catkin, which is a crowded spike 
of small flowers which hangs from such 
trees as the willow. There are many varie- 
ties of the willow, and the twigs of one of 
them, the osier, are used for basket-making. 
Trees that bear catkins are called amen- 
taceous (am en ta' shiis, adj.) trees. 

amerce (a mers'), v.t. To punish by a 
fine ; deprive. (F. punir d'une amende.) 

A magistrate may amerce, or inflict a fine 
upon, a law breaker. The latter is an 
amerciable (a mer' si abl, adj.) party, and 

the fine inflicted is an amercement (a mers' 
ment, .). 

Anglo-F. amercier to fine, F. a merci at the 
mercy of (from merci grace, favour). 

American (a mer' i kan), adj. Pertain- 
ing to the continent or people of America, 
but more especially to the United States. 
n. An inhabitant of the continent of America ; 
a citizen of the United States of America. 
(F. americain.) 

Originally only a native of America 

named after Amerigo Vespucci, a merchant 

of Florence, who sailed to that continent in 

Amenity. Enjoying some of the amen'ties of life a comfortable 
room, a warm fire, pleasing pictures, and wireless. 

1497 was an American, but now any 
inhabitant, especially of the United States, is 
an American subject. To cause a person 
to become American in character is to 
Americanize (a mer' i kan Iz, v.t.) him and 
anything peculiar to America, especially 
words and phrases, such as " yep " for 
" yes," and " let that stay put " for " let 
that remain as it is," is an Americanism 
(a mer' i kan izm, n.). 

In lawn tennis a special method of serving 
has been given the name of American service 
(n.) from its having originated in America. 




It is a twist or return twist service, which 
causes the ball to swerve or change its course 
while in the air and, as it touches the ground, 
instead of going straight on, turn sharply 
to one side, or break awav as it is called. 

American. An American Indian dancer in full 
war paint. 

amethyst (am' e thist), n. A bluish- 
violet variety of crystalline quartz. (F. 

Nowadays we use the amethyst for jewelled 
ornaments such as rings and brooches. In 
olden days they also used this semi-precious 
quartz for the making of drinking cups, 
because there was a curious belief that it 
acted as a charm against drunkenness. 

In certain lights and at certain ttowrtrtn 
fine weather, a slight haze or mist will cause 
natural objects to be partly veiled in a 
delicate cloud of a bluish-violet colour 
resembling that of amethyst, and this 
colour is described as amethystine (am e 
thist' in, adj.] for that reason. 

Gr. amethystos, from a- =not, methystos drunk. 

amiable (a/ mi abl), adj. Of a sweet dis- 
position ; lovable. (F. aimable.) 

Although this word has more or less the 
same meaning as friendly, it suggests just a 
little more, for a person may be kindly 
disposed to another, but that other may not 
feel attracted. The amiable woman is one 
who is lovable as well as friendly. The 
power of her attraction, together with her 
friendly disposition, make up her amiability 
(a mi a bil' i ti, n.), and she talks and acts 
amiably (a/ mi a bli, adv.). 

L. amicabilis, from amicus friend. SYN. : 
Agreeable, attractive, charming, kind. ANT. : 
Crabbed, crusty, disagreeable, surly. 

amic (am' ik), adj. Pertaining to 

Ammonia is a very powerful gas, and any 
compound of which it is the base, or chief 
part, is called an amide (am' Id, n.). The 
particular compounds in which the hydrogen 

A vestment worn 

of the ammonia is rep'aced by another in- 

gredient are called amines (am' Inz, 

Am- = ammonia, and -ic (chemical suffix). 

amicable (am' ik abl), adj. Friendly 
(F. amical.) 

We use this word chiefly in connexion with 
arrangements between two parties, each of 
whom acts with perfect goodwill towards the 
other. We say, for instance, that a law-suit 
was ended on amicable terms, meaning that 
there was no ill will shown.' When a law-suit 
is entered into by two or more parties in 
order to settle in a friendly spirit a particular 
point about which there are differences of 
opinion, we call it an amicable suit. We can 
say that the law-suit ended amicably (am ' ik 
ab li, adv.), and that the whole affair was 
conducted with amicability (am ik a bil' i ti, 
n.) or amicableness (am' ik abl nes). 

L.L. amicabilis, from amicus friend. SYN. : 
Cordial, harmonious, peaceable. ANT. : Ad- 
verse, hostile, unfriendly. 

amice [ij (am' is), n. 
at Mass. (F. amict.) 

The amice is an 
oblong strip of fine 
linen with a tiny 
cross sewn or em- 
broidered near one 
edge of it and 
with strings at two 
corners. It is first 
laid lightly on the 
head and then 
dropped over the 
shoulders and tied round the chest. At one 
time this strip of linen was worn like a hood. 

O.F. amis, amit, L. amictus mantle, p.p. of 
amicire, from am- round, jacere to throw. 

amice [2] (am' is), n. A kind of cloak 
with long ends in front made of grey fur. 
Also almuce (al' mus). (F. aumusse.) 

At first it seems to have been a cap or 
covering for the head, and then a hood or a 
cape with a hood. In the fifteenth century 
the hood part grew smaller and ths cape part 
larger and more important. The amice came 
to be worn as a choir vestment by canons, 
who often carried it over their left arms. It is 
still used by some canons in France and Italy. 

O.F. aumuce, L.L. almucia, possibly connected 
with G. mutze cap. 

amid (amid'), prep. Among; surrounded 
by. (F. au milieu de.) 

We can say that a spsaker's last remarks 
were heard indistinctly amid cries of dis- 
approval, and that a maiden stood amid the 
corn. Amidst (a midst') means much the 
same as amid, although it is perhaps com- 
moner to use amidst for scattered things or 
else for something moving among other things. 

In talking of objects or people in the 
middle part of a ship, we say they are 
amidships (a mid' ships, adv.). 

A.-S. a- =in, on, midde middle (=on middan). 
SYN. : Between, betwixt. ANT. : Beyond, 

Amice. A vestment worn 
at Mass. 





-The aeroplane in which Colonel Charles August Lindbergh flew from New York to Paris in 1927. 
amidst a vast throne of people. The aviator was only twenty-five years old. 

amide (am' id), n. A chemical compound 
made from ammonia. (F. amide.) 

It is obtained by putting acid radicals, 
that is, special families of atoms, in place 
of one or more of the hydrogen atoms found 
in its composition. 

Amidol (am' i dol, n.) is a well-known 
photographic developer. It is a crystalline 
compound soluble in water ; and just as acid 
radicals-replacing the hydrogen of ammonia 
give amides, so phenol (carbolic acid) 
radicals give amidol. As phenol is got from 
coal tar we may regard amidol as a coal-tar 

E. am (monia), and ide (chemical compound 

amidin (am' i din), n. The part of 
starch that can be dissolved ; starch in 
solution. (F. amidine.) 

When we talk of anything being " in 
solution " we mean that it is dissolved in 
water. When starch is in solution it yields 
a translucent (or not quite transparent) jelly. 

F. amidon, L. amylum starch, with chemical 
suffix -inc. 

amidst (a midst'), prep. This is used 
very much like amid. See amid. 

M.E. amidde-s (adverbial suffix s). 

amine (am' In), n. A compound pro- 
duced from ammonia. See amic. 

The word is a contraction of ammonia, and 
the chemical suffix -ine. 

amir (a met'), n. A Mohammedan title of 
honour. Another spelling is ameer. See ameer. 

amiss (a mis'), adj. and adv. Out of 
order ; wrong. (F. ma/; mauvais.) 

When we say that no food comes amiss to 
a starving man we mean that any kind of food 
is welcome. If a man wishes to do a favour 
to another he trusts his action will not be 
taken amiss, that is, will not give offence. In 
certain circumstances it would not be amiss, 
or out of order, to do such and such a thing. 

Shakespeare uses the word as a noun in the 
play of Hamlet (iv, 5), when the Queen of 
Denmark, Hamlet's mother, says : 

Let her come in. 

To my sick soul, as sin's true nature is, 
Each toy seems prologue to some great amiss : 
So full of artless jealousy is guilt, 
It spills itself in fearing to be spilt. 

E. a- =on, and miss, M.E. on misse in mistake. 
SYN. : Inappropriate, inexpedient, untimely. 
ANT. : Appropriate, expedient, opportune. 

amissibility (a mis i bil' i ti), n. Likeli- 
hood of losing or of being lost. (F. amissi- 

Our faith in people is amissible (a mis' ibl, 
adj.) should they prove unworthy, much as 
we may grieve over the amission (a mish' un, 
n.). Those in authority should bear in mind 
the amissibility of their power and therefore 
not abuse it. All these words are very 
seldom used. 

L.L. amissibilis capable of being lost, from 
amissus p.p. of amittere to lose. 

amity (am' i ti), n. Friendship ; goodwill. 
(F. amitie.) 

This word denotes good feeling on both 
sides. It is used especially when speaking 
of the relations of governments, political 
parties, and the like. 

O.F. amiste, L.L. amicitas, from amicus friend. 
SYN. : Concord, harmony. ANT. : Discord, 

ammeter (am' me ter), n. An instrument 
for measuring the strength of an electric 
current. (F. ammetre, amperemetre.) 

We measure length in inches, feet, yards, 
etc., weight in ounces and pounds ; and in 
the same way electric current is measured 
in what are called amperes. The name of 
this machine comes from the famous French 
physicist, Andre Marie Ampere, who lived 
from 1775 to 1836. 

A shortened form of amperemeter (Ampere, 
Gr. metron measure). 




ammonal (am' 6 nal), n. An explosive 
compound. (F. ammonal.) 

Ammonal is a curious mixture of harmless 
ingredients that ma*kes a very powerful 
explosive. It was largely used during the 
World War of 1914-18, in hand grenades and 
bombs. The ingredients are (i) ammonium 
nitrate, which is a combination of ammonia 
and nitric acid, and is a colourless crystalline 
substance ; (2) aluminium ; (3) charcoal. 
When these substances are mixed in the 
proper proportions ammonal results. 

This kind of explosive cannot explode by 
itself but has to be set off by means of what', 
is called a detonator, such as fulminate of 
mercury, which is much more sensitive. 
Only very small quantities of the detonator 
are needed to set off large amounts of am- 
monal. The word is a contraction of 
ammon(ia) and al(uminium). 

ammonia (a mo' ni a), n. A very strong- 
smelling gas ; a class of chemical compounds 
with similar properties. (F. ammoniaque.) 

Most of us, in speaking of ammonia, mean 
what is really liquid ammonia that is, 
ammonia gas dissolved in water. Solid car- 
bonate of ammonia is put into bottles, with 
perfume, and sold by chemists, who call it 
smelling salts. In cases of faintness a sniff 
at this solution will often revive a patient. 

An old-fashioned remedy for reviving a 
fainting or nearly fainting person was to 
burn feathers under her nose. The reason for 
this was that during the process just the same 
thing happens as if the patient sniffed 
smelling salts, for feathers when burning 
give off this gas which we know as ammonia. 

Any chemical compound which possesses 
the properties of ammonia is called ammoniac 
(a mo' ni ak, adj.) or ammoniacal (a mo ni' 
ak al, adj.), and when we combine anything 
with ammonia, we say it- is ammoniated (a 
mo' ni a ted, adj.). For instance, a remedy 
for colds is called ammoniated quinine. 

Ammonium (a mo' ni um, n.) is a radical 
or a group of atoms containing one more 
hydrogen atom than ammonia does. 

Gr. ammoniakon, L. sal ammoniacum rock 
salt, said to have been discovered near the temple 
of Zeus (or Jupiter) Ammon in Libya. 

ammonite (am' mo nit), n. An extinct 
mollusc, allied to the nautilus ; its fossil 
shell. (F. ammonite.) 
It is a strange fact 
that the name of 
this shell is con- 
nected with one of 
the old Egyptian 
gods. This god was 
Ammon or Amen 
and was often re- 
presented with 
curved ram's horns. 
And so the name 
came to be given to 
the ammonite shell, 
which is shaped very much like a ram's horn. 

ammunition (am mu nish'un), n. Powder, 
shot, shell, cartridges, and other articles, 
substances and devices for charging guns and 
ordnance ; warlike missiles, adj. Relating to 
military equipment. (F. munitions de guerre.) 

Ammonite. An animal 
that died out long ago. 

Ammunition. Trench mortars (1, 2). heavy 

hell (3). light shell (4). hand grenade (5). car- 

tridees (6), rifle grenade (7). 

Formerly this word was used to mean any 
and every detail of military supplies. When 
we use ammunition as an adjective, it keeps 
its old meaning and refers to any kind of 
military item. For example, we talk of 
an ammunition-wagon, by which we mean 
a wagon that is carrying any kind of military 
stores, not just shot and shell. When we 
talk of a body of soldiers having been 
ammunitioned (am mu nish' und, adj.), we 
mean that they have been supplied with the 
necessary shot, shells, bombs, etc. 

O.F. amunition, L. ad munitionem for defensive 
purposes, from, munire to defend, fortify. The 
prefix a is probably due to a confusion of F. la 
munition and I 'amunition. 

amnesia (am ne' si a), n. Loss of 
memory. (F. amnesie.) 

This is a very distressing state of mind, 
and is generally the result of mental strain, 
overwork, or a shock of some. kind. A 
person suffering from amnesia may wander 
away from his home and all his iamiliar 
haunts and his mental condition may cause 
him to meet with an accident. Nowadays, 
with the help of the daily papers and broad- 
casting, a person in this state is more likely 
to be found by his friends than formerly. 
A great deal of amnesia was caused by the 
World War of 1914-18 and by the strain due 
to the industrial troubles and general unrest 
that followed it. 

Gr. amnesia, from a- not, mndsthai to remember. 




amnesty (am' nes ti), n. A general 
pardon ; a deliberate overlooking of a fault or 
offence, v.t. To grant an amnesty. (F. amnistie.) 

An amnesty differs from an ordinary act 
of pardoning in that no record is kept of the 
offender's crime and also that it includes a 
pledge of forgetfulness. An amnesty is 
sometimes granted after a very exciting 
political period. In that case all political 
offenders are pardoned and, if in prison/ are 
released* without any further inquiry into 
the details of individual cases. 

Gr. amniestos not remembered (from mndsthai 
to remember). 

Amoeba. The simplest and lowest form of animal 
life (much magnified). 

amoeba (a me' ba), n. An organism 
representing the very simplest and lowest 
form of animal life. The plural is amoebae 
(a me' be). (F. amibe.) 

A favourite home of the amoeba is among 
the mud and weeds at the bottom of ponds. 
If it can be seen at all it looks like a tiny 
speck of jelly, but usually it is so small that it 
can be seen only through a microscope. It 
consists of a single cell, and has no limbs and 
no mouth. It eats by wrapping itself round 
its food. It moves by pushing out parts of 
itself, and so is constantly changing its shape. 

Anything like an amoeba is amoeboid 
(a me' boid, adj.) or amoebiform (a me" bi 
form, adj.), and the latter word is also used 
for anything that takes various shapes. The 
word amoebaean (am me be' an, adj.) is 
used to describe either poetry or singing in 
which the various verses or sections are said 
or sung alternately. This kind of poetry was 
first sung by shepherds at competitions for 
prizes. The competitors sang a song each in 
turn, and from these singing matches there 
grew up what we now call pastoral poems. 

Gr. amoibe change, amoibaios alternating, 
from ameibein to change. 

amok (a mok'). This is another form of 
amuck. See amuck. 

among (a mung'), prep. In the midst of. 
(F. parmi, au milieu de.) 

When we say we go among the crowd we 
mean that we mingle with the crowd. A 

bequest may be divided among the poor 
of a parish. Among the blind, according to 
the proverb, the one-eyed man is king. 

Amongst (a mungst', prep.) means the same 
as among, but when it is used to denote 
position it usually conveys the idea of 
shifting. Amongst this strange assembly he 
walked about unconcernedly. 

A.-S. on in, (ge)mang mixture, crowd. SYN. : 
Amid, between. ANT. : Beyond, outside. 

amontillado (a mon til ya' do), n. A 
Spanish wine. (F. amontillado.} 

Most wines receive their general names 
from the places where they are produced. 
For instance, port comes from the Portu- 
guese town of Oporto, champagne comes from 
the Champagne district of France, and sherry 
comes from Jerez or Xeres de La Frontera, 
in the Spanish province of Cadiz. In the 
same way amontillado, a particular kind of 
sherry, gets its name from the town of 
Montilla, near Cordova, which produces a 
pale light wine of a peculiar flavour. 

amorist (am' or ist), n. A-lover"; one 
devoted to love. y (P. amouriste.) 

This word is usually applied to a man \\ ho 
falls in love with every pretty woman he 
meets to one who is in love with love. 

L. amor love, from ama-re to love, and suffix 
-ist denoting the agent. 

amorous (am' or us), adj. Inclined to 
love ; relating to love ; in love. (F. 

When we talk of anyone being of an 
amorous (am' or us, adj.) disposition, we 
mean that he or she is by nature inclined 
to be loving to a greater degree than the 
average person. Lovers generally talk and 
look at each other amorously (am/ or us li, 
adv.), which means with loving words and 
glances. The state of being ruled by love 
is called amorousness (am' or us nes, n.). 

L.L. amorosus full of love (amor love). SYN. : 
Ardent, fond, passionate, tender. ANT. : Cold, 
cool, forbidding, indifferent. 

amoroso (am 6 ro' zo), adv. In a tender, 
feeling manner. 

This term is especially employed in dreamy 
vocal or string music, the performer putting 
a great deal of pathetic feeling into the 
musical portions of compositions so marked. 

Ital. amoroso, L.L. amorosus full of love 
(amor love). 

amorphous (a mor' fus), adj. Without 
definite shape. (F. amorphe.) '. ' 

Those who study various branches of 
science use this word in different senses. A 
biologist, for instance, will describe a very 
low form of life as amorphous, by which he 
means that it does not conform in shape to 
any known standard. In chemistry a body 
which is not made up of crystals may be 
described by the same word. A body or 
mass of matter which has no regular form or 
crystallization is characterized by amorphism 
(a mor' fizm, n.) and has amorphousness 
(a mor' fus nes, n.\. 




In everyday language amorphous can be 
used for things that are shapeless, or un- 
stable, or put together haphazard, or badly 
organized. The principles of a man who 
is confused about what is right and what is 
wrong are amorphous. 

Gr. a- =not, without, morphe form. 

amortization (a mor ti za' shun), n. 
The gradual paying off of a debt ; the transfer 
for all time of land to a corporation. (F. 

This word is generally used in the financial 
sense. It is possible to amortize (a mor' tiz, 
v.t.) a debt in various ways, and particularly 
by forming what is called a sinking fund, 

Amour. The Roman god of love was called Amor or Cupid, 
statue of him by Antoine Chaudet is in the Louvre, Paris. 

from which payments may be made from 
time to time until the whole debt is paid off. 
The literal meaning of amortization is 
" bringing to death," and it was applied to the 
transfer of lands to any public body, charity, 
or corporation, because the possession of real 
property by any such body or society was 
known as mortmain. In 1279 a law was 
passed, called the Statute of Mortmain, which 
forbade anyone to give grants of land to the 
Church, because many people had been quick- 
witted enough to find out that by doing 
so and then receiving it back as tenants, they 

were able to avoid their feudal obligations to 
the king. 

The statute was so-called because the 
Church was a " dead hand " (F. mainmorte] in 
so far that its property could not be taken 
from it. In 1391 a further clause was added 
to the Statute of Mortmain forbidding the 
handing over of property to any corporation 
or public body, not only the Church. 

L.L. amortizare to extinguish (a liability), from 
a- =ad, mors (gen. mortis) death. 

amount (a mount'), v.i. To add up ; to 
be equal in value, n. A total ; a quantity or 
number. (F. se monter ; montant, somme.) 
When we say that certain items or details 
amount to so much, we mean 
that by adding them to- 
gether they make a certain 
total. We can use the word 
for other things besides 
figures. For instance, we 
can speak of a remark 
amounting almost to an 
insult, and, in ordinary con- 
versation, of some affair not 
amounting to much. 

O.F. amonter, from a to, 
mont mountain, heap, L. ad 
montem (mons, mantis). 

amour (a moor'), n. A 
love affair. (F. amours.) 

The Roman god of love 
was called Amor or Cupid, 
and he is generally repre- 
sented as a chubby little boy 
carrying a bow and arrows 
ready to discharge a dart 
into the hearts of mortals, 
and thus bring about an 
amour or an amourette (am 
oor et', n.), a small love 
affair, between them. 
L. amor love. 

ampere (am par'), n. 
The unit of electric current. 
(F. ampere.) 

The ampere was named 
after the great French 
mathematician and physic- 
ist Andre Marie Ampere 
(1775 - 1836), who made 
many remarkable dis- 
coveries about electricity. . 
An ampere-hour (n.) is a 
current of one ampere flow- 
ing for one hour, and the amperage (am per'aj, 
n.) of an electrical apparatus is the number of 
amperes which it will produce in a given time. 
ampersand (am per sand'), n. The sign & 
meaning " and." (F. etc.) 

In old spelling-books the alphabet was 
followed by " & per se, and," that is " & by 
itself = and." Per se is Latin. 

amphi- (am' fi). A prefix meaning both, 
of both kinds, around. It occurs in such 
words as amphibian, amphicarpic, and 
amphitheatre. (F. amphi.) 

Gr. amphi-, L. ambi- round, both. 






Land and Water Animals that form a connecting Link between Fish and Reptiles 

amphibia (am fib' i a), A class of 
vertebrate or backboned animals that form 
a connecting link between fish and reptiles. 
(F. amphibiens .) 

Included in this class are frogs, newts, 
salamanders, and a gioupof tropical animals 
known as caecilians. The last are snake- 
like and often provided with scales, while 
all the others have naked skin well supplied 
with glands that keep it moist and clammy. 
The distinguishing 
character of an amphi- 
bian (am fib' i an, adj.) 
is that its eggs are laid 
in rivers, lakes, or 
ponds and there hatch 
into little creatures 
that look not unlike 
a fish and are generally 
known as tadpoles. 
They breath by gills 
and swim by move- 
ments of their tails, 
which are fringed with 
fins. As growth takes 
place there is a gradual 
change both inwardly 
and outwardly. The 
gills give place to 
lungs, the tail often 
disappears as in frogs 
and limbs suited for 
progress on land re- 
place it. When this 
change, or metamor- 
phosis as it is called, 
is complete, the 
animals may take to 
a life on land, like the 
toads and salamanders. 
Even if they keep to 
the water, as in the 
case of newts, they no 
longer breathe the 
water but become air- 
breathing animals. 
They thus well deserve 
the name of amphi- 
bious (am fib' i us, 
adj.) animals, for the 
term means life of 
both kinds, that is, 
both on land and in water. The study of 
these animals is known as amphibiolcgy 
(am fib i ol' 6 ji, .). Other creatures, such 
as the hippopotamus, which are at home 
on land or in water are often spoken of as 
amphibious, and amphibian is also applied 
to an aeroplane which can rise from or 
alight on either water or land. 

Frogs and toads live in many parts of the 
world, and there are over a thousand kinds. 

Amphibia. At the top is the common toad, and 
beneath the great water newt and the edible frog. 

The edible frog, which is found in England, 
and is believed to have been brought from 
the continent by monks, is regarded as a 
valuable article of food in France. It is 
quite small compared with the Goliath frog 
of Cameroon, the body of which measures 
ten inches in length. The flying frogs of 
Malaya and Madagascar are so called because 
the webbing on their feet gives them the 
appearance of flying when they jump from 
the trees on which they 
lay their eggs. The 
variable tree-frog of 
tropical America is 
treasured by the 
Indians because they, 
obtain from its skin a 
powerful poison in 
which they dip their 

The great salaman- 
ders, like other amphi- 
bians, go back to- 
remote ages. When 
the first fossil skeleton 
of one was found by : a 
German scientist early 
in the eighteenth 
century he supposed it 
to be that of a human 
being. Nearly i oo 
years later the first 
living specimens were 
found in Japan. Dr. 
Siebold, the dis- 
coverer, brought two 
of these animals to 
Europe, and one lived 
for over fifty years. 
Caecilians burrow in 
mud and look like big 
worms. Some of them 
have scales, and all 
are blind. Their chief 
i n t e r e st for many 
scientists, however, is 
not in their member- 
ship of the animal 
kingdom, but in the 
light it is thought they 
shed on a difficult 
problem that has 
puzzled those who study the formation of 
the earth. Many learned men hold that 
the vast distances between South America 
and Africa, as well as between Africa ami 
India, were once bridged by land, and they 
base their belief on the idea that if it 
were otherwise members of the genus of 
caecilians known as Herpele would not have 
found their way to these places. 

Gr. amphibios ; amphi on both sides, bios lif" 




amphibrach (am' fi brak), n. The 
metrical foot (or the measurement of accent) 
consisting of a long syllable between two 
short ones (" "). (F. amphibraque.) 

Gr. amphibrachys, from amphi on both sides, 
brachys short. 

Amphictyon (am file' ti on), n. A 
delegate to one of the ancient councils of 
Greece to which the name Amphictyonic 
was given. (F. amphictyon.) 

The Amphictyonic (am fik ti on' ik, adj.) 
Councils of ancient Greece were composed 
of delegates or deputies appointed by the 
leading states in whose interests they met. 
One of the earliest was that which sat at 
Delos in the seventh century B.C. Another, 
the most important of all, was the Amphicty- 
ony (am fik' ti on i, n.) held at Anthela, near 
Pylae, and later at Delphi. It consisted of 
three members from each of twelve states. 

Gr. amphiktyon, from amphi around, ktizein 
to people a country, build in it. 

amphimacer (am fim' a ser), n. A 
metrical foot in prosody. (F. amphimacre.) 

This is the exact opposite metre to that of 
an amphibrach, for it is the metrical foot 
consisting of a short syllable between two 
long ones ( ~ " ~ ). Another name for 
amphimacer is cretic. 

Gr. amphi- on both sides, makros long. 

amphioxus (am fi ok' siis), n. One of a 
class of tiny marine vertebrates (Cephalo- 
chorda) ; the lancelet. (F. amphioxus.) 

The name amphioxus refers to the fact 
that the lancelet's flattened body is pointed 
at both ends. The lancelet is found along 
the Mediterranean and Atlantic coasts, in- 
cluding the British Isles. It is particularly 
abundant at Naples, where the fishermen use 
it as bait. 

It varies in length from about an inch and a 
half to rather more than three inches. At 

Amphioxus. The lively little lancelet is the only 
member of this class of marine animals. 

first glance it is difficult to tell which is the 
head and which the tail, but a little hood-like 
structure can be seen at one end, and this 
marks the under side of the head. Lancelets 
are generally found buried in the sand in an 
upright position, with the head showing. 
They can swim and burrow in the sand very 

Gr. amphi around, at both ends, oxys sharp, 

Amphipoda (am fip' 6 da), Small 
aquatic crustaceans with six pairs of legs, 
three for walking and three for swimming. 
(F. amphipodes.) 

Most of the creatures which belong to this 
order are able to spring in the air, and the 
variety best known to us is the sand-hopper, 
which during the summer months may be 
seen in thousands leaping between the tide- 
marks on sandy shores. It looks very much 
like a strongly-curved flattened shrimp. 
It is what is called sessile-eyed, that is, its 
eyes are devoid of stalks. An animal of 
this order is called amphipod (am' fi pod, 
adj.) or amphipodous (am fip' 6 diis,'adj.). 

Gr. amphi both, of two kinds, pous (gen. 
podos) foot, leg. 


Amphipoda. The freshwater shrimp, which belongs 
to this order of small animals with twelve legs, 

amphiprostyle (am fip' ro stil), n. A 
temple or other building having a columned 
portico at each end, but without columns 
at the sides. (F. amphiprostyle.) 

Gr. amphiprostylus, from amphi at both ends, 
pro in front, stylos column. 

amphisbaena (am fis be' na), n. A 
family of snake-lizards. (F. amphisbene.} 

Lizards are very strange creatures, and 
they vary in appearance according to their 
habits and their homes. There are some in 
practically every part of the world except 
the polar regions. Some lizards are more 
snake-like in appearance than others, and 
among these are the amphisbaenas, which are 
chiefly found in tropical America. 

They have their tails so rounded and blunt 
that at first sight they seem to have a head 
at each end. It was probably because of 
this peculiarity that a legend grew up that 
the snake-lizard was a creature with two 
heads which could move in either direction. 

Gr. amphisbaina, from amphis both ways, 
backwards and forwards, bainein to go. 

amphitheatre (am fi the' a ter), n. A 
circular or oval building with tiers of seats 
ranged round it inside. (F. amphitheatre.) 

In the days of ancient Rome, gladiators 
used to fight with wild beasts in a sand-strewn 
arena round which seats were built in amphi - 
theatrical (am fi the at' rik al, adj.) form, so 
that the Emperor and other lookers-on could 
see every detail of the fight, which often 
ended in a combatant being killed. 



Amphitheatre. Ruin* of the great Roman amphitheatre at Aries, one of the oldest towns in France. The 

tower is a mediaeval addition. 

Since those days the idea of building seats 
in rising tiers (or rows) at public contests and 
performances has become fairly general. In 
a theatre the seats in the upper part of the 
house are arranged in this fashion. 

Nature sometimes makes an amphi- 
theatre without the aid of human hands, 
as when hills surround a valley. 
We say that such hills form a 
natural amphitheatre. 

.Gr. amphitheatron, from amphi 
around, theatron place for seeing 
(thedsthai to see). 

amphitryon (am fit' ri on), 
. A host or entertainer. (F. 

We use this word when we 
refer to a lavish and extra- 
vagant giver of a banquet, 
in allusion to a character in 
Moliere's comedy entitled 
" Amphitryon," based on a 
comedy of Plautus. Jupiter 
took the form of Amphitryon, 
and gave a splendid feast in 
his house during his absence. 

Amphitryon, or Amphitruo, 
in Greek mythology, was the 
husband of Alcmene and the 
foster father of Hercules, the 
god of strength. 

amphora (am' fo ra), 
handled jar. (F. amphore.) 

The amphora was a two-handled vessel 
or jar used in ancient times by the Greeks 
and Romans for holding wine, oil, or other 
liquids. They measured their liquids by 
reckoning how many of these vessels it 
would fill, thus the word came to be 

Amphora. A two-handled iar 

of the 4th century B.C. in 

the British Museum. 

A two- Anything 

employed as a unit of measurement. Among 
the Romans, an amphora held about six 
gallons, but the Greek measure was about 

From this jar or vessel comes the adjective 
amphoric (am for' ik, adj.), which means 
having a sound such as would be made by 
speaking into, or blowing into, 
a vessel shaped like an 
amphora, which usually has a 
smalt mouth. 

Gr. amphoreus (=amphi- 
phorens), L. amphora, from Gr. 
amphi on both sides, pherein to 

ample (am ' pi) , adj. Of large 
size or quantity ; spacious. 
(F. ample.) 

Ample gives the idea of more 
than sufficient, as an ample 
water supply. A stout person 
is said to be of ample propor- 
tions. A boy who has plenty 
of pocket-money is amply (am' 
pli, adv.) or liberally provided. 
The quality of being ample is 
called ampleness (am 'pi nes, .). 
If an explanation is not suffi- 
cient we amplify (am/ pli fl, 
v.t.) it by adding to it, and the 
added part is the amplification 
(am pli fi ka' shun, n.). 
very large or spacious has 
amplitude (am' pli tud, n.), but this term is 
also used for the extent of regular motions, 
such as those of waves, or of the swing of a 
compass needle (magnetic amplitude). 

L. amplus large, capacious. SYN. : Copious, 
generous, large, plentiful, spacious. ANT. : In- 
sufficient, mean, narrow, scant. 




amplexicaul (am pick' si kawl), adj. 
Clasping the stem. (F. amplexicaule.) 

Botanists use this name for leaves which 
have no stem of their own, but grow directly 
from the stalk. These leaves are also called 

L. amplexus, p.p. of amplecti to embrace, 
caulis stem. 

amplexifoliate (am plek si fo' li at), adj. 
Having leaves which clasp or sit upon the 
stalk. (F. amplexifolie.) The scarlet pim- 
pernel, growing by the roadside, has leaves 
of this kind. 

L. amplexus, p.p. of amplecti to embrace, 
folium leaf. 

amplifier (am' pli fi er), n. An electrical 
device which makes wireless signals stronger 
by passing them through a valve, or several 
valves one after the other. (F. amplificateur.) 

A strong amplifier is able to turn a mere 
whisper into sounds that can be heard by 
thousands of people at once. 

L. amplificare to enlarge, from amplus large, 
facere to make. 

ampulla (am pul' a), n. A small vase, 
usually of globular shape with a long 
narrow neck ; an organ of similar shape in 
the human or other bodies. (F. ampoule.) 

The ampullae (pi.) of the ancient Romans 
contained perfumes, or oil, and later were 
used for anointing kings. One of the 
most valued relics at Rheims is the ampulla 
formerly brought into service at the corona- 
tion of French monarchs. This was said to 
have been carried down by an angel from 
heaven for the crowning of Clovis, first king 
of the Franks. It 
was broken at the 
time of the French 
Revolution. An 
ampulla of gold, 
having the form of 
an eagle with out- 
spread wings, is used 
at English corona- 

In anatomy we 
often meet with tiny 
tubes which end in 
little swollen bulbs, 
as in the canals of 
the ear. These 
swellings are called 
ampullae, and the tubes are said to be 
ampullaceous (am pul a' shus, adj.). 
L. ampulla, dim. of amphora. 
amputate (am' pu tat), v.t. To cut off 
part of the body. (F. amputer.) 

Lord Nelson, when storming Santa Cruz 
in 1797, had his right elbow shattered by a 
bullet : the arm had to be amputated. An 
amputation (am pu ta' shun, n.) was per- 
formed upon his arm aboard H.M.S. 
" Theseus " ; the surgeon who performed it 
was the amputator (am' pu ta tor, n.). 

L. amputatus, p.p. of amputare, from ambi 
round, about, putare to lop, prune. 

Ampulla. The gold vase 
used at English Corona- 

amrita (am re' ta), n. The ambrosia of 
Hindu mythology. (F. amrita.) 

This beverage of the Hindu gods was nine 
times sweeter than honey. Those who 
tasted amrita enjoyed everlasting life. 

The word is Sanskrit, meaning " immortal " 
Gr. ambrotos, L. immortalis. 

amuck (a muk'), adv. Used only in the 
expression " to run amuck," which means to 
run furiously into the street and attack any 
passer-by with the first weapon that presents 
itself. Amok (a mok / ) is another spelling. 
(F. en furieux.) 

This is fortunately not a common habit 
in most places, but it sometimes occurs in, 
the Malay States, where natives under the 
influence of bhang, a drug prepared from 
hemp, become frenzied. They attack anyone, 
they meet and kill all who are not prompt in; 
escaping from their- path. Sailors who had 1 
seen such cases, telling of them at hpme, used, 
the nearest English word they could find 
to the Malayan amok, and so described thei 
process as running amuck. 

Amulet. A woman of Biskra, in Algeria, wearing 

an amulet on a long chain. Amulets are supposed 

to bring luck or prevent misfortunes. 

amulet (am' u let), n. An object carried 
on the person which is supposed to bring 
luck or to ward off misfortunes. (F. 

Amulets are a relic of the times when 
everyone believed in witchcraft and sorcery. 
They were in the form of stones, or other 
objects, worn round the neck, arm or finger, 
and were regarded as means of warding off 
the evil eye, especially if they had been 
blessed by some high dignitary of the 



Amusement. Holiday-makers on Margate sands amused by a performance of Punch and Judy. The tragic 
story of Mr. Punch is believed to have been written by Silvio Fiorillo, an Italian comedian of the 

seventeenth century. 

They are still quite common among ignor- 
ant native races, and many educated people 
have a half-belief in certain precious stones, or 
colours, as bringing them good or bad luck. 

L. amuletum, perhaps from Arabic. SYN. : 
Charm, mascot, talisman. 

amuse (a muz'), v.t. To entertain ; to 
provide with pleasure by light and cheerful 
entertainment. (F. amuser.) 

As a rule we try to amuse our guests or 
friends by providing music, games, or other 
pastimes for them, but we may give amuse- 
ment (a muz' ment, n.) without meaning to 
do so by some oddity of behaviour, or by 
some mistake. Those who keep people inter- 
ested and in good humour are amusing (a 
muz' ing, adj.) or behave amusingly (a muz' 
ing li, adv.). 

E.a- (=L. a<Z to, at) , and muse, v. SYN.: Beguile, 
disport, divert, entertain, please. ANT. : Annoy, 
bore, disturb, tire, weary. 

amygdalic (am ig' dal ik), adj. Belong- 
ing to or made from the kernel of the almond 
tree. (F. amygdalique.) 

The almond tribe bears both sweet and 
bitter kernels. A substance which chemists 
call amygdalin (am ig' dal in, n.) is found in 
many almonds such as the peach-kernel, and 
a useful but poisonous oil is made from bitter 
almonds. Anything almond-shaped is amyg- 
daloid (am ig' dal oid, adv.}. 

Geologists use the term amygdaloid (n.) 
for rock which, once a soft mass bubbling 
with great heat, in cooling has hardened, 
the steam bubbles forming into round or 
almond-shaped compartments. These are 
filled or lined with various crystals. 

Gr. amygdale almond, and (i) suffix -tkos. 
(2) cidos form, shape. 

amyl (am' il), n. An alcohol radical. (F. 

This word is used by chemists for a little 
family of five atoms of carbon and eleven 
atoms of hydrogen. This family cannot live 
alone, but is found in compounds like amyl 
acetate (peardrop flavouring) and it usually 
behaves like a single atom. 

If one hydrogen atom leaves it the family 
can live by itself, and is known as amylene 
(am' i len, n.). A substance of starchy 
nature is said to be amylaceous (am i la'se us, 
adj.), or can be called an amyloid (am' i loid, 

The word is really amyl-yl (from Gr. amylon 
starch), shortened to avoid the duplication of 
-yl (hyle matter), the suffix for forming chemical 

an (an), indefinite art. and adj. A ; one. 
(F. un, une.) 

The indefinite article was formerly always 
written an or ane, but later the n was dropped 
before consonants. Several words show signs 
of this n in quaint ways. Ewt was once the 
name for the little water animal now known 
as a newt. The n here is simply the last 
letter of an " an ewt " became " a newt." 
Other words show the reverse process ; 
" an apron," " an adder," were formerly 
" a napron," " a nadder." 

A.-S. an one. 

an (an), conj. If. (F. si.) 
This form is still used in Scotland, but 
survives in modern English only in the 
saying : 

" If ifs and ans were pots and pans 
Where would the tinkers be ? " 

A Scand. use of the conj. 




ana (a' na ; a' na), Interesting 
gossip or information, usually of a person 
or place. (F. ana.) 

Boswell, when writing the life of Dr. 
Johnson, the famous dictionary maker, told 
many interesting stories. He relates that 
on one occasion Johnson said that school- 
boys were the happiest of beings. " Even 
though they are flogged, and have to work 
hard ? " asked Boswell. " Certainly," replied 
Johnson, " for they do not have to face the 
scorn of the world as men do." 

A collection of such stories as this would be 
called Johnsoniana. The first use of the term 
ana is thought to have occurred in France 
about the middle of the seventeenth century. 

The word is the neuter pi. of L. adjectives in 
-anus, the suffix meaning " belonging to." 

Anabaptist (an a bap' tist, n.). A mem- 
ber of a Protestant sect that arose at Zwickau 
in Saxony in 1521. (F. anabaptiste.) 

The Anabaptists held that the baptism ot 
infants was not according to the teaching 
of the Bible ; that baptism, as taught in the 
Scriptures, was only permitted to adults who 
had embraced the Christian Faith, and 
should be performed by immersion. They 
were called Anabaptists, which means 

rebaptizers, " because, according to their 
opponents, they baptized again those who 
had been baptized in infancy, but they ob- 
jected to being called by this name, as they 
maintained that the baptism of infants was 
no baptism. The teaching of the Anabaptists 
is Anabaptism (an a bap' tizm, n.) and their 
opinions and practices are Anabaptistical (an 
a bap tis' tik al, adj.). 

Gr; ana again, and baptist. 

Anabas. The climbing perch which uses its stiff fins to clamber 
up trees, and when on land carries water to keep its gills wet. 

anabas (an' a bas), n. The climbing 
perch. (F. anabas.) 

This strange fish, common in the Ganges 
and other rivers of India, is able to climb out 
of the water and struggle across dry land 
by means of its stiff fins. It has organs 
specially developed to enable it to carry 
sufficient water in its body to keep its gills 

wet, so that it can breathe until it again 
reaches water. Its scientific name is Anabas 

Gr. ana up, bainein to go, climb. 
anabasis (a nab' a sis), n. An advance 
by an army. (F. anabase.) 

The most famous march of an army was 
that of the younger Cyrus, who had 10,000 
Greek soldiers under his command and 
marched against his brother Artaxerxes in 
401 B.C. The narrative of the march of the 
ten thousand and their defeat near Babylon, 
one of the most thrilling stories of ancient 
history, is told by the Greek writer Xenophon, 
who took part in it, in hj book, the " Ana- 
basis," or march up from the coast. 

Xenophon may be looked upon as one of 
the earliest of war correspondents. The 
" Anabasis " of Alexander the Great is the 
record of the many military advances of the 
greatest of Greek kings. 
Gr. ana up, bainein to go. 
anacharis (a nak' a ris), n. A water- 
weed of North America. (F. anacharis.) 

In 1842 people were greatly puzzled by the 
appearance in Europe of this waterweed, 
which proved a terrible nuisance by clogging 
the ponds and rivers. It has sometimes been 
called Babington's curse, after a man who was 
wrongly supposed to have brought it to 

The word is apparently derived from Gr. 
ana up, kharis grace. 

anachronism (a nak' ron izm), n. A 
mistake in referring to or introducing an 
incident or object which does not belong to 
the period. (F. anachronisme .) 

A good example of an anachronism is 
found in Shakespeare's play " Julius Caesar " 
(ii, i), where Cassius says to 
Brutus, " The clock hath stricken 
three." This was supposed to 
happen 44 years B.C., but clocks 
were not invented till A.D. 1200. 
Such an incident is called ana- 
chronistic (a nak ron is' tik, 
adj.) or but this word is seldom 
used anachronic (an a kron' ik). 
In Shakespeare's time, when all 
actors wore Elizabethan costume, 
such mistakes were allowable, 
but modern writers consider 
them as serious blemishes in a 
play or novel. 

Gr. anachromsmos, from ana up, 
back, chronos time. 

anaclastic (an a klas' tik) adj., 
Referring to, or caused by, re- 
fraction or bending. (F. anaclas- 
tique, dioptrique.) 

Thrust a straight stick into water ; the sub- 
merged part will seem to be bent at an angle 
from the rest. Of course, it is not the stick 
but the light that is bent, or refracted, at 
a different angle on passing through water. 
The bent appearance of the stick is an 
anaclastic illusion. 

Anaclastic glasses ( are vessels with 




thin bottoms which bend out or in as air 
is blown into them or sucked out. The 
science which treats of refraction, or the 
bending of the angle of light, is called ana- 
elastics (an a klas' tiks, n.), or dioptrics. 

Gr. anaklastikos, from ana back, klastos bent, 
broken (from kldn to bend). 

anacoluthon (an a ko loo' 
thon), n. A sentence in which 
the grammatical construction is 
suddenly changed. (F. ana- 

Such a sentence is not strictly 
correct, but it is sometimes em- 
ployed to add vividness to a 
speech. Examples occur in the 
authorized version of the Bible 
as in Luke v, 14 : " And He 
charged him to tell no man : but 
go, and sheiu thyself to the priest." 

Gr. anakolouthos, from an- =a- 
not, akolouthos following. 

anaconda (an a kon' da), n. 
A large snake. (F. anacondo.) 

The anaconda, the largest 
known snake, is found chiefly in 
Brazil. Specimens have been 
measured 32 ft. in length, and as 
thick round as a man's thigh. 
The anaconda lives in water or 
swampy districts and feeds on 
animals. Its scientific name is 
Eunectes murinus. 

The name is doubtfully derived 
from the anacandaia, a snake of 
Ceylon mentioned by the naturalist John Ray 

anacreontic (a nak re on' tik), adj. 
Having to do with the Greek poet Anacreon 
or with the type of poetry which he wrote. 
n. A poem similar to those written by 
Anacreon. (F. anacreontique.) 

Anacreon, who wrote poetry singing the 
praises of love and wine, lived about 2,500 
years ago. He went to Athens where 
Hipparchus, who was joint ruler of Athens 
with his brother, received him with honour. 
He is said to have died through swallowing 
a dried grape which caused him to choke. 

anacrusis (an a kroo' sis), n. An un- 
accented syllable at the beginning of a line 
of poetry. (F. anacrousis.) 

In the first line of the poem " Casabianca," 
" The boy stood on the burning deck," the 
first word is an anacrusis, which seems to set 
back or check the verse. The word is also 
used in music in the sense of striking up, 

Gr. anakrousis, from ana up, back, krouein 
to push. 

anadem (an' a dem), n. A band for 
binding a woman's hair ; a garland of flowers 
for the same purpose. The word is used 
chiefly by poets. (F. anademe.) 

Gr. anadema, from ana up, dein to bind. SYN. : 
Chaplet, diadem, fillet. 

anadromous (a nad' ro mus), adj. 
Swimming up rivers. (F. anadrome.) 

The salmon and the sturgeon are. well- 
known examples of anadromous fish. Such 
fish, by instinct or habit, periodically leave 
the sea, and go or " run " up fresh-water 

Anadromous. This word is applied to fish that leave the sea 

and enter fresh-water rivers in which to lay their eggs. Here is 

a salmon leaping a waterfall on its way up river. 

rivers, the main purpose being to spawn, 
or lay their eggs. 

Gr. anadromos running up, from ana up, 
dromos, n., running, from dramein to run. 

anaemia (a ne' mi a), n. Lack of blood. 
(F. anSmie.) 

Pale and listless persons often suffer from 
want of good blood ; this is called anaemia. 
Such people, and whatever relates to their 
malady, are said to be anaemic (a ne' mik, 

Gr. anaimia, from an-=a- not, without, haima 

anaesthesia (an es the' zi a), n. A con- 
dition in which the body or part of it loses 
all sense of feeling. (F. anesthesie.) 

In some diseases we lose the sense of feeling 
and are then said to suffer from anaesthesia. 
This word, however, is generally used for the 
loss of feeling which is produced by certain 
drugs called anaesthetics (an es thet' iks, 

Although it was not till the middle of the 
nineteenth century that chemists and medical 
men made a regular study of anaesthetics, 
drugs from very early times had been used to 
banish pain. Homer (" Odyssey," iv,' 221) 
mentions such a drug (nepenthes banishing 
pain), and the use of mandragora as an 
anaesthetic was known to Pliny the Elder 
(" Natural History," xxv, 147). 
145 KI 



A physician who practised in China in 
the third century A.D., always anaesthetized 
(a nes' the tizd, v.t.) his patients before 
he performed an operation. 

At first the study of anaesthetics was not 
taken very seriously. Laughing gas, for in- 
stance, was discovered as far back as 1776, 
but it was not until 1800 that Sir Humphry 
Davy foreshadowed its practical use for 
operations, and even then nearly fifty years 
passed before his suggestion took root. 

In the same way the anaesthetic properties 
of ether, discovered by Michael Faraday in 
1818, were neglected for many years, and 
chloroform, which was discovered in 1831, 
was not used as an anaesthetic until 1847. 
The anaesthetic properties of cocaine were 
discovered in 1884. 

Nowadays not only can the whole body be 
made insensible to pain by anaesthetization 
(an es the tl za' shun, n.), but also only just 
the part (local anaesthesia) or the part 
around (regional anaesthesia) that which has 
to be operated on. The wonders wrought 
anaesthetically (an es thet' ik al li, adv.) by 
the great surgeons of to-day could never have 
been attempted in the old days. The person 
who actually gives the anaesthetic is called 
the anaesthetist (an es the' tist, n.). 

Gr. anaisthesia, from an- =a- not, aisthesis 
leeling, from aisthanesthai to perceive, feel. 

anaglyph (an' a glif), n. A figure or 
ornament cut or embossed in low relief. (F. 

When a design is carved from marble or 
other material, so that it is somewhat raised, 
but only a little, from its background, we 
call it a bas-relief, or an anaglyph, which is 
the Greek name. The finest examples of 
Greek anaglyphic (an a glif ik, adj.) or 
anaglyptic (an a glip' tik, adj.) art are among 
the Elgin marbles in the British Museum. 

The early Egyptians probably invented 
anaglyptics (, as the art is called, and 

their monuments and tombs are covered 
with thousands of raised pictures of popular 
customs and ceremonies. Coins, cameos, and 
seals are anaglyphs, but the impression a 
seal makes on sealing-wax is sunk into the 
material, and is called diaglyphic. 

Anaglyph is also the name given to an 
optical toy, which acts like a stereoscope, and 
makes the objects in a picture stand out, as in 
real life. The picture is prepared from a pair 
of stereoscopic prints, reproduced and printed 
one above the other in red and green inks. 
It is viewed through spectacles having one 
green and one red lens. 

Gr. anaglyphe, from ana up, glyphein to carve, 

anagnorisis (an ag nor' i sis), n. The 
climax in a dramatic play or story. (F. 

Gr. anagnorisis recognition, from ana again, 
gnorizein to know. 

anagoge (an a go' je), A method of 
explaining sacred writings by a^ spiritual 
sense underlying the literal sense. Another 
spelling is anagogy. (F. anagogie.) 

The apostle Paul often gave anagogical 
(an a goj ' ik al, adj.) interpretations of the 
Scriptures, as in Galatians iv, 21-26, where he 
recalls the story of Abraham and his two 
sons one the son of a bondmaid, the other 
the son of a freewoman by which he repre- 
sented Jerusalem in bondage, and Jerusalem 
above which is free. From St. Paul's time 
onward many systems of explaining the 
Bible anagogically (an a goj' ik al li, adv.) 
have been put forward with varying success. 

Gr. anagoge, from ana up, agetn to draw, bring. 

anagram (an' a gram), n. A word or 
sentence formed by changing the order of 
letters in another word or sentence. (F. 

A good example of an anagram is the change 
of " Florence Nightingale " into " Flit on 

Anaglyph. This 

en of anaglyphic art in the British Museum shows figures of the Greek deities 

Anagyph. hs specimen o anagyphic art in te ritish useum sows gures o te ree etes 
Poseidon, Apollo, Artemis, Aphrodite, and Eros. It formed part of the frieze of the Parthenon at Athens. 




cheering angel." Anagrammatism (an a 
gram' at izm, n.), or the art of making 
anagrams, was a favourite pursuit in former 
times and considerable importance was some- 
times attached to the results obtained by the 
anagrammatist (an a gram' at ist, n.). In 
1634 Eleanor Audeley, wife of Sir John Davies, 
discovered that she bore an anagrammatical 
(an a gram at' ik al, adj.) name, and that it 
might be anagrammatized (an a gram' at 
Izd, v.t.). to " Reveal O Danyel." Encour- 
aged by this she put forth such claims as led 
to her trial before the High Commission 
Court. One of the judges wittily pointed out 
that Dame Eleanor Davies might be ex- 
pressed anagrammatically (an a gram at' i kal 
li, adv.) as " Never soe mad a ladie," and the 
case was laughed out of court. 

Gr. L. anagramma, from ana up, again, 
gramma letter, something written, from graphein 
to write. 

Anakim (an' a kim), n. A race of giants. 
(F. Anakim.) 

When Moses sent the Israelites to Canaan 
to spy out the land they were dismayed to 
find there a race of giants. They were the 
Anakims, or Sons of Anak (Joshua xi, 21 ; 
Numbers xiii, 22), and their stronghold was 
Hebron, which was captured and destroyed 
by Joshua and Caleb. We use the term 
" son of Anak " for a tall, strong man. 

analeptic (an a lep' tik), adj. Strength- 
giving, n. A restorative medicine. (F. 
analeptique .) 

A tonic medicine is analeptic, or restora- 
tive, in its effect. It is called an analeptic. 

Gr. analeptikos restorative, " pick-me-up," 
from ana up, lambanein to take (cp. lepsis taking 
hold). SYN. : adj. Energizing, vitalizing ; n. 
tonic. ANT. : adj. Debilitating, enervating, 
lowering ; n. sedative. 

analogy (a nal' 6 ji), n. A partial re- 
semblance between two different things. 
(F. analogic.) 

When we speak of our " mother country " 
we analogize (a nal' 6 jlz, v.t.), that is, we 
use an analogic (an a loj ' ik, adj.) or analogical 
(an a loj ' ik al, adj.) expression. Mother and 
country are very 'different, but both, deserve 
our. love for the care they exercise over us in 
providing food, shelter, and education ; to 
this extent they are analogous (a nal ' 6 gus, 

Scientists use the word to describe parts 
of animals 'or plants which have the same 
use but different origin. The wings of birds 
and of insects are analogous, though the 
former are altered arms, while the latter are 
quite independent of the limbs. In this case 
one is called the analogue (an' a log, n.) of the 
other. A man who argues from analogy or 
analogously (a nal 6' gus li, adv.) is called an 
analogist (a nal' 6 jist, n.) ; he speaks 
analogically (an a loj ' ik al li, adv.). 

Gr. L. analogia, from ana according to, logos, 
statement, proportion. SYN. : Comparison, like- 
ness, relation, resemblance. ANT. : Disagree- 
ment, dissimilarity, incongruity, unlikeness. 

analyse (an' a liz), v.t. To separate a 
thing into the parts of which it is made and 
so to examine it thoroughly. (F. analyse.) 

All young people are analysers (a*n' a liz 
erz, n.), though they may not call themselves 
by such a long name. They love to take things 
to pieces and to discover of what they are 
made and how they work. Some people feel 
this same desire all their life, and they become 
scientists and philosophers, seeking to dis- 
cover the origin of all. kinds of things. 

In the study of language analysis (a nal' i 
sis, n.) or separating sentences into the parts 
of speech that make them and showing their 
relation one with another, plays an important 
part. Such study shows that languages are 
of two kinds. Some show changes of meaning 
in words chiefly by inflecting them (see 
accidence) ; others use several words for the 
same purpose. 

Thus the Latin words amavissem, amatums, 
and amandus are all formed from amo (I love). 
These can only be expressed in English by 

Analyst. With the aid of various apparatus the 
analyst is able to make valuable discoveries. 

" I might have loved," " about to love," and 
" deserving to be loved." Latin is called a 
synthetic, and English an analytic (an a ; lit' 
ik, adj.) or analytical (an a lit' ik al, adj.) 

A clever novelist shows analytical power 
in dissecting character. 

Chemical analysis discovers the simplest 
elements of which substances are composed, 
finds out the value of foods and detects 
impurities in them. Such analyses (a nal' 
i sez, are performed by a public 
analyst (an' a list, n.) in whose skilled hands 
all substances are analysable (an a Us' abl, 
adj.). In the science of logic there is a 
special department which deals with state- 
ments analytically (an a lit' ik al li, adv.) and 
is known as analytics (an a lit' iks, n.). 

Gr. analyein, from ana up, back, lyein to 
resolve, separate. SYN. : Dissect, investigate, 
partition, separate. ANT. : Aggregate, cohere, 
combine, compose. 




anamorphosis (an a mor f5' sis), n. A 
distorted drawing which, when looked at in 
a suitable mirror, or from a certain angle, 
is seen in its proper proportions. (F. 

Reflected in a convex, or outward-curving 
mirror our faces seem out of shape or dis- 
torted. If we could make such a distorted 
drawing of a face that, when reflected in the 
convex mirror, the drawing would seem 
properly proportioned, that drawing would 
be an anamorphosis. The anamorphosis 
might, instead, be a distorted circular 
drawing on a card, which is only transformed 
into proper shape and meaning when re- 
flected in a cylinder-shaped mirror set down 
upon the centre of the card. 

Plants sometimes change so strangely as 
to seem to be transformed into a different 
species ; botanists call this change anamor- 

Gr. anamorphosis, from anamorphoun to trans- 
form, from ana up, back, morphe form. 

ananas (a na' nas ; a na' nas), n. (F. 
ananas.) A name given to the plants of the 
pine-apple family and also to the fruit of the 
pineapple and its relative the pinguin. 

Span, anana, Port, ananaz, Brazilian nanas. 

anandrous (an an' drus), adj. Without 
a male ; husbandless. (F. anandraire.) 

Flowerless plants, such as ferns and mosses, 
were said to be anandrous, because they 
were supposed to possess no organs like the 
stamens of flowers. The term is now applied 
to those imperfect flowers which have a pistil 
but no stamens, such as the female flowers of 
willows, poplars, the hop, and the bulrush. 

Gr. an- =a- not, without, aner (gen. andros) 
man, male. 

anapaest (an' a pest; an' a pest), n. A 
foot in poetry consisting of two short or 
unaccented syllables followed by a long or 
accented one ; a verse with such feet. 
(F. anapesle.) 

Byron wrote anapaestics (an a pe ' stiks ; 
an a pes' tiks, or anapaestic (adj.) versa 
in some of his Hebrew melodies, such as : 

The Assyr/ian came down / like a wolf / on 
the fold, 

And his co/horts were gleam /ing in pur/pie and 

And the sheen / of their spears / was like stars 
/ on the sea 

When the blue / wave rolls night/ly on deep / 

Gr. anapaistos, L. anapaestus, from Gr. 
anapaiein, from ana up, back, paiein to strike, so 
called as being the dactyl reversed. 

anaphora (a naf 6 ra) n. Beginning, 
sentences or lines that follow one another 
with the same word or group of words. (F. 

In the Psalms we find abundant examples 
of anaphora. The beautiful Psalm cl is a 
noteworthy example : 

Praise ye the Lord. Praise God in His 

sanctuary : praise Him in the firmament of 

His power. 

Praise Him for His mighty acts : praise 

Him according to His excellent greatness. . . . 

Here is an example taken from Shake- 
speare's " Henry VI " (Part III. ii, 5), 
describing the shepherd's happy life : 

So many hours must I tend my flock ; 

So many hours must I take my rest ; 

So many hours must I sport myself. 

Gr. anaphora, from ana back, pherein to carry. 

anaptotic (an ap tot' ik), adj. Losing or 
having lost inflexions. (F. anaptotique .) 

Some languages are aptotic, that is, they 
have no variation in form to express case, 
number, gender, person, etc. Others are 
anaptotic, that is, they have had inflexions 
but have lost them. In our own language 
most of the inflexions have disappeared, so 
that English is an anaptotic language. 

Gr. an-(=ana) back, again, aptotos indeclinable. 

anarchy (an' ar ki), n. Absence of 
government ; lawlessness ; disorder. (F. 

A strong government ruling according to 
the best interests of the subjects is what most 
of us desire. There are some people, however, 
who in their longing for complete liberty 
object to any interference by government. 

Anarchist. The arrest of the anarchist who shot 
the Archduke Francis Ferdinand and his consort 
on June 29th, 1914. The death of the heir to the 
crowns of Austria and Hungary was one of the 
causes of the World War (1914-18). 

These are known as anarchists (an' ar kists, and their beliefs and practices are 
called anarchism (an' ar kizm, .). Their 
opposition to the government is not always 
violent, but it sometimes becomes so. 
Anarchic (an ar' kik, adj.) or anarchical 
(an ark' ik al, adj.) opinions have bsen the 
cause of many of the terrible revolutions in 
history. Anarch (an' ark, n.) is sometimes 
used by poets for a lawless ruler. 

Gr. L. anarchia, from an- =a- not, without, 
arkhe rule, government. SYN. : Confusion, 
misrule. ANT. : Government, law, order. 




anastatic (an a stat' ik), adj. With the 
characters or illustrations standing out from 
their background ; reviving, or bringing back 
to life. (F. anastatique .) 

This word is specially applied to a dupli- 
cating process, anastatic printing, by means 
of which facsimiles or exact copies can be 
made of an inked print a drawing, an en- 
graving, or an ordinary printed page. The 
original is wetted with acid, and then placed 
on a zinc plate and pressed. The acid eats into 
the zinc, except where it is protected by the 
ink of the print, and so leaves an anastatic 
or raised duplicate of the 
printed parts. The plate is 
then inked, as in lithogra- 
phic printing, and copies are 
printed, which are often 
better than the original. 
The process has given place 
to photographic methods. 

Gr. anastatikos, from ana up, 
statikos standing, raised. 

anastigmat (an a stig' 
mat), n. A photographic 
lens. (F. anastigmat.) 

Before 1892, lenses were 
not free from astigmatism, 
a defect that prevented the 
rays of light from being 
focussed or brought together 
at one, point. The anastig- 
mat overcame this difficulty. 
. Gr. an- =-a- not, without, 
. stigma (gen. stigmatos) mark. 

anastrophe (a nas' tro 
fi),.7i. An unusual arrange- 
ment of the words or clauses 
of a sentence. (F, anas- 

Thes poet Tennyson -wrote.." rode the six 
hundred ". where we in the ordinary way 
: would write "the six hundred rode." 
. Further examples are : 

" -Loud and long were the cheers " for " the 
cheers were loud and long." 

'-'.The castle of Macduff I will surprise " for 
',' I will surprise the, castle of Macduff." 
" Hushed was the evening hymn " for ' 
evening hymn was hushed." 
Gr. anastrophe inversion, Gr. ana up, back, 
strephein to turn. 

anathema (a nath' e ma), n. A gift to 
a god ; a thing accursed ; a ban or curse ; 
excommunication ; the word used when an 
evil doer or a heretic was expelled from the 
Church. (F. anatheme.) 

Among the ancient Greeks this word was 
used for an offering to a god, and because an 
animal offered to a god as a sacrifice was 
doomed, anathema came to mean a thing con- 
demned to destruction, and hence a thing 
accursed or a curse. When used with the 
sense of a curse the plural is anathemas 
(a nath' e maz). When meaning a 
votive offering the plural is anathemata 
(an a the' ma ta). 

At the end of the First Epistle to the 
Corinthians St. Paul writes : "If any man 
love not the Lord Jesus Christ let him be 
Anathema Maran-atha." Maran-ath& is Syriac 
for " our Lord cometh." It is doubtful 
whether St. Paul meant the two words to be 
joined, but in the early Church they were 
taken to mean " let him be accursed at the 
coming of the Lord." To pronounce such a 
curse was to anathematize (a nath' e ma tiz, 
v.t.) an opponent. 

Gr. anathema, anathema, something offered, 
doomed, from ana up, tithenai to set, place. 

Anatomy. An object lesson in comparative anatomy. The skeleton of 
a man compared with that of a hone. 

anatomy (a nat' 6 mi), n. The art of 
dissection ; the science of the structure of 
organized bodies ; the act of dissecting ; a 
skeleton ; a very thin person. (F. anatomic.) 

What is called morbid anatomy is the 
study of structural changes in the body due to 
disease. Comparative anatomy is a study and 
comparison of the structures of the lower 
animals with those of the human body. 
Anatomic (an a torn' ik, adj.) or anatomical 
(an a torn' ik al, adj.) specimens are human 
beings and animals or parts of them used to 
teach anatomy. A human skeleton is an 
anatomical specimen. 

When anything is minutely examined or 
dissected it is said to be examined anatomic- 
ally (an a torn' ik al li, adv.). To dissect 
or to analyse closely is to anatomize (a nat' 
6 miz, v.t.) it, and a person who carries out 
dissections or studies anatomy is called an 
anatomist (a nat' 6 mist, .). 

Many of the words used in anatomy of the 
human body are of Greek, Roman, or Arabic 
origin, anatomy having early been studied by 
doctors of these nations. Many anatomical 
terms, indeed, commemorate their discovery 
by these early doctors. Thus there is a curious 





swelling on the skull called the torcular of 
Herophilus, after a Greek physician who 
practised in Alexandria about 300 B.C. ; and 
veins in the skull are known as the veins of 
Galen, after a Greek physician who practised 
in Rome in the latter part of the first 
century A.D. 

Gr. anatome, from ana up, lemnein- to cut, L. 

anatta (a nat' ta), n. An orange dye 
obtained from a Central American plant. 
Annatto (an nat' to) and arnotto (ar not' to) 
are other spellings. (F. roucou.) 

The scientific name of this plant is Bixa 
orellana, and the dye from it is used for 
colouring butter and cheese. Certain brands 
of butter and cheese are brightly coloured, 
while others are practically colourless. As 
many people prefer the former the makers 
of the pale kinds find it necessary to colour 
their products, in order to obtain a. sale for 
them, and they do this with anatta. The dye 
is quite harmless. 

anbury (an' ber i), n. A soft tumour on 
horses and cattle, formed on the neck. (F. 

In turnips and allied plants the disease 
more usually called fingers and toes is also 
known as anbury. The word is also spelt 
ambury (am' ber i). 

A.-S. ange--=enge tight, painful, and perhaps 
berry from the idea of the resemblance of the 
latter to a tumour. 

Ancestor. A pilgrim in the Far East worshipping 
the spirits of his ancestors. 

ancestor (an' ses tor), n. A forefather. 
(F. ancetre.) 

A female ancestor is called an ancestress 
(an' ses tres, .). An ancestral (an ses' tral, 
adj.] hall or mansion is one in which one's fore- 
fathers lived or which they owned. Ancestry 
(an' ses tri, n.} is a line of ancestors or descent 
through such a line. A man is said to be of 
good ancestry if he can trace his descent back 
a long way or from people of high birth. 

Ancestor worship is very widespread in 
China, and is one of the oldest forms of re- 
ligion. Among the ancient Romans images 
were made of their ancestors and kept in their 
houses. The Romans used to offer gifts to 
these images and pray to them. In modern 
Chinese houses ancestral tablets are kept 
which are thought by the Chinese to contain 
the spirits of the family ancestors, and on 
solemn occasions incense and candles are 
burned in front of the tablets. 

In the Solomon Islands the skulls of a 
man's ancestors are placed in specially built 
tiny huts and are considered holy. 

O.F. ancestre, L. antecessor, from ante before, 
cedere (perfect tense cessi) to go. 

anchithere (ang' ki ther), n. An extinct 
horse-like animal. (F. anchitherium.) 

Fossil remains of this creature have been 
found in what are called Miocene rocks in 
both Europe and North America. It was 
about the size of a donkey and had three toes. 
It is considered to be one of the very early 
ancestors of the horse. Its scientific name 
is Anchitherium. 

Gr. angki resembling, near to, therion wild 

anchor (ang' kor), n. A heavy iron hook, 
attached to a cable or chain, and carried on 
board ship. v.t. To fix with or as with an 
anchor, v.i. To be so secured. (F. ancre ; 
ancrer, s'ancrer.) 

When a ship is to stop for a time in one 
place the anchor is thrown overboard. The 
ship is then said to cast anchor or simply to 
anchor, and she then lies or rides at anchor, or 
is anchored. When the voyage is to be re- 
sumed the anchor is weighed, or drawn in. 

An anchor consists usually of a long shank 
with two curved arms at one end, furnished 
with flukes or flattened points. The stock is 
a heavy bar at the other end at right angles 
to the arms, which prevents the anchor from 
falling flat, and so helps to drive one of the 
flukes into the mud or sand at the bottom. 
Most anchors nowadays, however, have no 
stock. Large ships carry several anchors ; 
the largest is the sheet anchor, smaller ones 
are called bowers and the smallest are kedges. 

Care has to be exercised in choosing 
anchorage (ang' kor aj, n.) or anchor- ground. 
The water must not be too deep for the length 
of cable, and the bottom must afford good 
anchor-hold. If too rocky it may foul or 
fix the anchor, so that it cannot be weighed. 
When a ship is being driven on to a dangerous 
coast the only hope of safety may lie in 
casting anchor, and so the anchor has become 
the symbol of hope, and the sheet anchor of 
one's chief hope. An anchorless (ang' kor les, 
adj.) ship is in a hopeless condition, and an 
anchor- watch (n.) is always appointed while 
a ship lies at anchor. 

What is known as anchor-ice (n.) is 
produced in fast-running streams. The upper 
waters run too fast to freeze, while the lower 
waters become frozen around rushes or weeds. 

A.-S. ancor, L. ancora, Gr. angkyra bent hook. 




Anchor. 1. Close stowing anchor, made so that it can lie flat on deck. 2. Mushroom anchor, used by 

lightships. 3. Grapnel, for use when the bottom of the sea is likely to be rocky. 4. Stone sinker used for 

buoys. 5. Old-fashioned " Admiralty " pattern anchor. 6. The anchor of Nelson's ship the " Victory." 

7. Stockless anchor, used by battleships and liners. 

anchoret (ang' ko ret), n. A hermit ; 
one who abandons the world and retires to 
some secluded place to devote his life in 
solitude to God. Anchorite (ang' ko rlt) is 
another spelling. (F. anachorete.) 

The most famous of the anchorites was 
St. Anthony, who, gave his large fortune to 
the poor, and for twenty years lived as a 
hermit in the wilderness of Egypt, where he 
founded a monastery and had a following 
of 15,000 disciples. 

A woman who follows this manner of life 
is called an anchoress (ang' ko res, n.) or 
ancress (ang' kres, n). Whatever has the 
characteristics of this austere and solitary 
life, or resembles these severe habits of 
devotion, is said to be anchoretic (ang ko 
ret' ik, adj.) or anchoretical (ang ko ret' ik 
al, adj.). 

Gr. anakhoretes, L.L. anachoreta, from ana- 
khorein to withdraw, from ana up, back, khorein 
to go. 

anchovy (an cho' vi), n. A small fish, re- 
lated to the herring. (F. anchois.) 

This fish is very abundant in the Mediter- 
ranean, where the anchovy fisheries form an 
important industry. Anchovies are chiefly 
pickled and are also used for sauces. They 
are about six inches long. At certain seasons 
they go about in great shoals, and then are 
often attracted near the fishermen's boats at 
night by lighted flares and are easily caught 
in nets. The scientific name is Engraulis 

Sp. anchova, perhaps derived from the Basque 
anchuva = antzua dry. 

anchovy pear (an cho' vi par), n. A West 
Indian fruit. (F. poire d'anchois.) 

The tree which produces this fruit belongs 

to the same order as the myrtle, and, with its 
tall stem and crown of leaves, looks something 
like an umbrella. The fruit is eaten when 
pickled. The scientific name is Grias canliflora. 

anchylose (ang'kiloz). This is another 
spelling of ankylose. See ankylose. 

ancient fi] (an' shent), adj. Very old. 
(F. ancien, vieux.) 

The period before the so-called Middle 
Ages, which began about 476, is referred to 
as ancient times, . and. people who lived in 
those days are sometimes called the ancients 
( The ancientness (an' shent nes, n.) of 
a building means its old age, and its style 
of architecture would be one that was 
anciently (an' shent li, adv.) used. 

We often see the notice " Ancient Lights " 
affixed to certain buildings. This means that 
the direct flow of daylight to a window or 
windows of that building may not be inter- 
rupted should another building be erected 
near it. A window or light may claim to be 
ancient after being free from interruption for 
twenty years. 

L.L. antianus, from ante before, and adj. suffix 
-anus belonging to. SYN. : Antiquated, antique, 
old. ANT. : Modern, new, young. 

ancient [2] (an' shent), n. An ensign or 
standard ; a standard-bearer. (F. enseigne : 

In the sixteenth century it became the 
custom to call an ensign or standard, as well 
as the man who carried it, an ancient. So 
when Shakespeare speaks of Ancient Pistol 
he does not mean that Pistol was a -very old 
man but that he was an ensign or standard- 

The word is a corruption of ensign, due to the 




ancillary (an sil' ar i), adj. Helping, 
subordinate to ; relating to female servants. 
(F. ancillaire.) 

This word is chiefly used to describe some- 
thing that helps another thing without being 
positively essential to it. Thus anatomy, 
botany, and the study of parasites and 
microbes are all ancillary to the study of 
medicine, for they assist the doctor in his 
war against disease. 

L. ancillaris, from ancilla handmaid, and 
suffix -aris belonging to. 

ancipital (an sip' it al), adj. With two 
sharp edges. (F. ancipite.) 

This term is used in Natural History to 
describe such forms as that of the iris stem 
with its flat shape and sharp edges. 

L. an-=ambi on both sides, caput head. 

ancle (ang' kl). This is another spelling 
of ankle. See ankle. 

ancon (ang' kon), n. The elbow ; the 
support of a cornice, pi. ancones (ang ko' 
nez). (F. ancone.) 

According to old legend the Titans, a race 
of mighty giants, led by Atlas, tried to storm 
the Heavens and drive out the gods. They 
failed, and as a punishment Zeus, the father 
of the gods, ordered that Atlas should bear 
the vault of Heaven on his shoulders. 

It was probably his bent elbows that 
gave the builders of Greece an idea. When 
they wanted to support a cornice, such as 
is often seen over doors, they used a piece of 
stone shaped like a bent elbow, to which they 
gave the name ancon. 

Gr. angkon bend of the arm, elbow. 

Ancona fowl (an ko' na foul), n. A 
variety . .of poultry. 

The Aricona fowl was introduced into 
England from Ancona, Italy, about 1885. It 
is a small, active bird, producing large white 
eggs, but is not in much demand for food. 

an cress' (ang' kres). This is another 
form of anchoress. See anchoret. 

and (and), conj. A word chiefly used to 
join words, clauses, and sentences. (F. et.) 

The words that and joins together are 
usually of the same part of speech. It joins 
a noun to a noun, a verb to a verb, an adject- 
ive to an adjective, a pronoun to a noun or a 
pronoun, an adverb to an adverb, and a 
preposition to a preposition. 

There are other uses of and. In the 
sentence, " there are men and men," it 
illustrates a difference, for the meaning is 
" there are men of different types." In the 
following sentence it expresses surprise : 
" And you really mean that?" Familiarly 
we often say " try and see him," when we 
should say "try to see him." See page li. 

A.-S. and, ond ; perhaps connected with Gr. 
anti, L. ante in front, over against. 

Andalusian fowl (an da lu' si an foul), n. 
A variety of poultry. 

This bird was brought from Spain about 
1851. A good laying bird, its eggs being 

large and white, it resembles the Minorca in 

andante (an dan' te), adv. Rather slowly 
and gracefully. (F. andante.) 

This term indicates a somewhat slow move 
ment in a musical work or composition. It 
is sometimes used with some other word, an 
expression such as " andante religioso " 
meaning in slow, religious style. Andantino 
(an dan te' no) means that the music is taken 
a little faster than andante. 

Ital. andante moving slowly, pres. p. of 
andare to go, move. 

andiron (and' I ern), . A bar usually of 

iron, supported. on short legs for raising the 

ends of logs burning on the hearth ; a fire 

*' dog. (F. andier, 

' H cnenet.) 

Before coal came 
into general use as 
fuel our ancestors 
burned wood on 
open hearths. The 
logs burned better if 
lifted above the 
hearth; and this was 
done by a- pair of 
andiron's. "Some- 
times these were 
very L ornamental, 
and it was usual to 
extend one leg of 
each to a height of 
two or three feet and 
to provide the 
lengthened parts 
with brackets on 

which to rest the spit for roasting joints of 

M.E. andlren, O.F. andier, F. landier 
(= I' andier), L.L. anderius, andedus. Etymology 
unknown, but the word has nothing to do 
with hand or iron. 

Andromed (an' dro med), n. One of the 
swarm of meteors called Andromedids (an 
drom' e didz, because they appear to be 
moving in radiating lines from a point in the 
group of stars called the constellation 
Andromeda. (F. andromede.) 

These meteors appear from the 23rd to 
the 2 yth of November. They have also been 
called Bielids because their orbit is closely 
related to that of Biela's comet, which 
has disappeared. 

Andromeda (an drom' e da), n. A con- 
stellation in the northern sky ; a genus of 
heath-like plants. (F. Andromede.) 

According to Greek legend, Andromeda 
was the daughter of Cepheus, King of 
Ethiopia, who exposed her chained on the 
rocky shore as a sacrifice to be devoured by a 
sea-monster. She was rescued by Perseus, 
who married her. At their deaths they were 
translated to the heavens, where two groups 
of stars are named after them. 

The name was also given to a genus of the 
heath order by Linnaeus, who compared 
the plant " fixed on some turfy hillock in the 

Andiron. For raiting 
burning logs. 




midst of the swamp " 
" chained to a rock in the 
her feet, as the fresh water 
the plant." According to 
the marsh andromeda was 
" this beautiful tribe of 
dreary . . . wastes feigned 
. monsters." 

to Andromeda 
sea, which bathed 
bathes the root of 
Sir W. J. Hooker 
so named because 

plants grow in 
to be the abode of 

Andromeda. The brilliant spiral nebula in the 

group of stars named after the heroine of Greek 

legend whom Perseus rescued. 

andropetalous (an dro pet' a lus), adj. 
Having petals in place of stamens, as in some 
double flowers. (F. andropetale .) 

Such doubling readily takes place in culti- 
vated anemones, in roses, pinks, stocks, 
daffodils, and many other flowers. The white 
water lily has flower-parts in all stages from 
pure stamens to pure petals. 

Gr. aner (gen. andros), male, petalon leaf. 

anecdote (an' ek dot), n. A story of some 
interesting incident in a person's life. (F. 

This word was at first applied either to 
history which for state reasons it was wiser 
not to publish, or to the works of old writers 
which had long remained unpublished. 

An anecdotist (an' ek do tist, n.) is one who 
is fond of telling anecdotes, whose talk is 
anecdotal (an' ek do tal, adj.). He could 
be described as anecdotic (an ekdot' ik, adj.) 
or anecdotical (an ek dot' ik al, adj.) and so 
could his conversation. Old folk often like 
to tell stories about people they knew when 
they were young, and when they do this a 
great deal we say that they are in their 
anecdotage (an' ek do taj, n.), a phrase con- 
taining a humorous reference to dotage. 

Gr. anekdota, L.L. anecdota (both neuter pi.), 
from an-=a- not, ek out, dotos given (didonai to 
give). The collective suffix -age in anecdotage is 
derived from L.L. -aticum, M.L. -agium, F. -age. 

anele (a nel'), v.t. To anoint with oil. 
(F. enhuiler.) 

This word is used chiefly for anointing 
considered as a religious rite. For instance, 
the sacrament of the dying in the Roman 
Catholic Church, extreme unction, is 
aneling (a nel' ing, n.). See extreme unction. 

A.-S. an=on on, ele oil, L. oleum. 

anelectric (an e lek' trik), adj. Parting 
easily with electricity, n. A good conductor 
of electricity. All metals are anelectric. 
(F. anelectrique.) 

Gr. an- =a- not, and electric. 

anemochord (a nem' 6 kord), n. A musi- 
cal instrument. (F. anemocorde.) 

The anemochord, invented in 1784 by 
Johann Schnell, a German, was a stringed 
instrument, the strings being vibrated, or 
played, by jets of air forced upon them. 

Gr. anemos wind, chords chord, string. 

anemograph (a nem' 6 graf), n. An in- 
strument which records automatically on 
paper the direction and force of the wind. 
(F. anemographe.) 

Anything connected with an anemograph 
is said to be anemographic (an e mo graf ik, 

Gr. anemos wind, graphein to write. 

anemometer (an e mom' e .ter), n. An 
instrument for measuring the force or the 
speed of the wind. (F. anemometre.) 

The most common 
form has four metal ; 
cups fixed on cross 
arms like a weather- 
cock. These cups are 
driven round by the 
wind. A similar in- 
strument is used by 
organ builders and 
the word is also used 
by airmen for an in- 
strument also called 
an air speed indica- 
t o r. Anemometry 
(anemom'etri, n.) is 
the study of the 
force of the wind. An 
anemometric (an e 
mo met' rik, adj.) 
instrument is one 
that measures wind 

Gr. anemos wind, metron measure. 

anemone (a nem' 6 ni), n. A genus of 
plants belonging to the buttercup family. 
(F. anemone.) 

Of the three British species the windflower or 
wood anemone(^4 nemone nemorosa) is the most 
familiar. The others are the purple pasque 
flower and the blue Apennine anemone. 

According to the classic myth Anemone was 
a beautiful nymph beloved of Zephyrus, the 
god of the soft west wind, whose attention 
so aroused the jealousy of the goddess Flora 
that she changed Anemone into the flower 
that bears her name. 

Gr. anemone flower or daughter of the wind. 

Anemometer. An in- 
strument that measures 
the speed of the wind. 




anemophilous (an e mof i lus), adj. 
Fertilized by the wind. 

This term is applied to flowers the pollen 
of which is carried from one to another by the 
wind. Usually such flowers are small and 
unattractive ; they include such perfect 
flowers as grasses, and such imperfect 
flowers as those of the hazel and other 
catkins, sedges, nettles, and cone-bearers. A 
number cf flowers, including those of the 
heather, employ both insects and the wind 
in the transport of pollen. 

Gr. anemos wind, philos loving, friend of. 

anent (a nent'), prep. Concerning ; with 
regard to. (F. touchant.} 

Anent was formerly in common use, but 
is now chiefly Scottish. There are signs of 
its coming into favour again among good 
writers, and it might well take the", place of 
the lawyers' favourite Latin word re, as in 
" I should like to see you anent your pro- 

A.-S. anefn, onefn, abreast, on an equality 
with, from an = on on, efen even. The t is merely 
euphonic and without etymological value. 

Aneroid. The metal box (A), partially exhausted of 
air, responds readily to the pressure of the atmos- 
phere. High pressure forces the sides of the box 
together, drawing down the spring (B), to which is 
attached a lever (C), which through (CD rotates the 
rocking bar (D), causing lever (D 1) to pull on the 
chain (E), one end of which is wound round a drum 
on the spindle (F), causing the pointer (H) to move 
towards the right towards fair weather. When 
the pressure of the atmosphere drops, the reverse 
actions take place and the chain is slackened, the 
slack being taken up by the hair spring (G), which 
moves the pointer towards the left or bad weather 

aneroid (an' er oid), adj. Of a barometer 
which measures the pressure of the air by its 
action on the lid of a metal box from which 
most of the air has been withdrawn ; n. An 
aneroid barometer. (F. anerolde.) 

The aneroid barometer is the one which is 
most commonly found in houses, the one we 
tap to see whether the pointer, which is 
attached to the lid of the metal box, is moving 

on to fair or back to stormy. It is not so 
reliable as an ordinary barometer. 

Gr. a- not, neros wet, eidos form, shape. 

aneurism (an' ur izm), n. A swelling or 
bulging of the walls of an artery. Another 
spelling is aneurysm. (F. anevrisme.) 

Most people who ride bicycles have seen 
the inner tube suddenly bulging out from a 
cut in the tire. This is almost exactly what 
happens to an artery when it has an aneurism. 
The walls of the artery have become too weak 
to withstand the blood pressure, just as the 
inner tube of the tire cannot by itself with- 
stand the air pressure. A weak artery is said 
to be aneurismal (an u riz' mal, adj.). 

Gr. aneurysma, from an- =ana up, eurynein to 
widen (eurys wide). 

anew (a nu'), adv. Again ; afresh ; once 
more. (F. de nouveau.) In spring the trees 
all bud anew. 

E. a- = of, and new. 

angary (ang' ga ri), n. The destruction 
or seizing; of neutral property by a country 
at war. Another spelling is angaria (ang 
gar' i a). (F. angarie.) 

According to international law property 
seized under angary must be paid for. In 
1918, during the World War, the Allies, by 
right of angary, seized and made use of 
Dutch and other neutral vessels lying in 
British and American harbours. 

The word angary comes from an old 
Persian word meaning a mounted courier. 
These couriers were kept ready at regular 
points throughout Persia for carrying the 
royal dispatches. The furnishing of horses and 
messengers at these stages was compulsory 
on the local population, and so gradually the 
compulsory provision of goods, vessels, and 
so on for warlike purposes came to be the 
accepted modern meaning of the word. 

Gr. anggareia, from anggaros a Persian 
mounted courier, L.L. angaria postal service, then 
any forced labour. 

angel [i] (an' jel), n. A messenger of God. 
(F. ange.) 

This is the plain meaning of the word, but 
it is generally applied to those heavenly 
beings around the throne of God who speed 
to do His Will, particularly as the bearers of 
His message to men. 

They are described in the Bible as " minis- 
tering spirits " (Heb. i, 14), and are regarded 
as of human appearance, though belonging 
to a higher order than man. In the book of 
Daniel (viii, 16, xii, i), two angels are 
mentioned by name Gabriel and Michael 
but usually the Divine Messenger is unnamed 
and simply described as " the Angel of God." 

To be like an angel, innocent, lovely, 
ministering, is to be angelic (an jel' ik, adj.) 
or angelical (an jel' ik al, adj.), or to act 
angelically (an jel' ik al li, adv.). Angelolatry 
(an jel ol' a tri, n.) is the worship of angels, 
and Angelology (an jel ol' 6 ji, n.) the study 
of angels. Death is sometimes called " The 
Destroying Angel." Satan is known as the 
chief of the fallen angels. Angel-visits is 




an expression for surprise visits and un- 
expected joys. The poet Campbell uses the 
phrase, " Like angel visits, few and far be- 

L. angelus, Gr. angelos, messenger. 

angel-fish, (an' jel fish), n. A salt-water 
fish allied to the sharks and rays. (F. ange 
de mer.) 

This fish owes its name not to its beauty 
but to the fact that its front 
or pectoral fins have some- 
what the look of growing 
wings. Other names for it 
are monk-fish, fiddle-fish, and 
shark-ray. It occurs in 
British waters, lying close 
to the bottom, where it 
devours quantities of flat 
fish. Fortunately it is not 
very common. In length it 
sometimes reaches seven to 
eight feet, but is usually 
about five feet. Its scientific 
name is Rhina squatina. 

angelica (an jel' ik a), n. 
A genus of plants, the rays 
of which spread like the 
stays of an umbrella ; a 
sweet-meat. (F. angelique.) 

The wild angelica (Angelica 
sylvestris) and the cultivated 
angelica (A . archangelica) are 
familiar types. The name, 
meaning angel-like or angelic, 
was given partly because of 
the sweet scent of the root, 
but chiefly because of the 
medical and even magical 
virtues the plant was believed to possess, 
especially against poison, pestilence, and 

The name is also given to a candied sweet- 
meat made from the tender stems of the 
cultivated plant, probably, in the first 
place, because of its supposed magic 

L.L. angelica with herba understood, angel-like 

Angel-fish. So-called because its 
front fins look like growing wings. 

Angel. Back (reverse) and front (obverse) of one 
of these coins struck for Henry VI. 

angel [2] (an' jel), n. A gold coin worth 
from 6s. 8d. to 103. (F. ange.} 

Angels were first struck in France in 1340, 
in England in 1465. Their last coinage was 
in the reign of Charles I. One side bore an 

image of the archangel Michael fighting the 
dragon. The angel, or angelot (an' je lot, n.}, 
as it was called in France, weighed between 
87 and 97 grains, and was originally called 
angel-noble (n.), as it was really a new issue of 
the noble. A smaller coin of this name, 
weighing about 35 grains, was issued by 
Henry VI of England for use in his French 
possessions. A figure of the archangel 
Michael was also stamped on 
one side of this coin. Incases 
of king's evil, or scrofula, 
sufferers were at one time 
given a noble to touch as a 
kind of talisman. 

O.F. angele, cp. L. angelus. 

angel-shot (an' jel shot). 
n. A form of shot consist- 
ing of two cannon balls joined 
by a chain. (F. anges, boulet 

It was invented by the 
Dutch Admiral De Witt in 
1666 and was employed in 
naval battles for bringing 
down the spars or rigging of 
enemy ships. It is said to 
get its name from the appear- 
ance of the " wings " or seg- 
ments as it was hurled 
through the air. 

angelus (an' je his), n. 
A Roman Catholic prayer 
which begins with this word, 
and is in honour of the birth 
of Christ. (F. angelus.) 

The angelus is repeated 
three times a day, at 6 a.m., noon, and 6 p.m., 
and the bell which calls the devout tc 
these hours of prayer is called the angelus- 
bell, or more frequently, the angelus. 

J. F.Millet (1814-75) made this devotion 
the subject of a painting, which is now uni- 
versally known as " The Angelus." It shows 
two French peasants observing in the fields 
at sundown the angelus call to prayer. 

angel-water (an' jel waw' ter), n. A 
Portuguese scent composed of a mixture of 
rose, orange blossom and myrtle water, with 
musk and ambergris. (F. eau de Portugal.) 

Angel is an abbreviation of angelica (the plant). 

anger (ang' ger), n. A feeling aroused by 
wrongdoing, especially against oneself, v.t. 
To enrage. (F. colere.) 

To feel anger is not always wrong ; it is 
well that we should be angry (ang' gri, adj.) 
when, for example, we see harmless animals 
ill-treated ; but righteous anger must not be 
allowed to become hasty revenge. To act 
angrily (ang' gri li, adv.) is always a mistake. 
Angry is applied by analogy to inflamed 

O. Norse angr trouble ; cp. A.-S. ange, enge, 
G. eng straitened, Dan. anger, regret, L. angor, 
from angere to press tight. SYN. : Choler, fury, 
ire. ANT. : Love, mildness, patience. 




Angevins (an' je vinz), A line of 
English kings, sometimes called Plan- 
tagenets. (F. Angevins.} 

There were eight kings of this line, namely 
Henry II (1154-89), Richard I (1189-99), 
John (1199-1216), Henry III (1216-72), 
Edward I (1272-1307), Edward II (1307-27), 
Edward III (1327-77), and Richard II 
(1377-99). The name comes from Anjou, in 
France, Henry II 's father having been 
Geoffrey V, Count of Anjou. 

L.L. Andecavensis, Andegavensis, belonging to 
Andecavensis ager (the modern Anjou). 

angina (an' ji na ; an ji' na), n. Any 
disease which has choking or suffocating 
symptoms. (F. angine.) 

Angina is now nearly always used as 
a short way of saying angina pectoris (an' 
ji na pek' to ris), which is a disease due to 
over-exertion when the heart is weak. 

Gr. angkhone strangling, from angkhein to press 
tight, L. angina, from angere to throttle. 

angiocarpous (an ji 6 kar' pus), adj. 
Possessing an enclosing envelope not derived 
from a flower. (F. angiocarpe.) 

The fruits of the beech, chestnut, and hazel 
are said to be angiocarpous because they are 
enclosed in a sheath 
or cupule developed 
from scales which 
formed no part of 
the flower. In some 
grasses such as 
barley and oats, one 
of the scaly glumes 
is so closely and 
lightly wrapped 
round the true fruit 
or grain as to be 

fungi are those 
which, like the puff- 
ball and ergot, pro- 
duce their spores in some kind of receptacle. 
Some minute species of such fungi are found 
associated with green algae to form lichens, 
which are therefore said to be angiocarpous. 
Gr. anggeion vessel, karpos fruit. 

angio sperm (an' ji 6 sperm), n. A plant 
which encloses its ovules in an ovary or 
vessel. (F. angiosperme .) 

Such plants are popularly called flowering 
plants, in which the pollen has to be deposited 
on the special portion of the pistil called the 
stigma, before it can reach the ovules or 
young seeds by sending out to them a fine 
tube. This is the angiospermal (an ji 6 
sperm' al, adj.) or angiospermous (an ji 6 
sperm' us, adj.) method of fertilizing the 
ovules. The apple, rose, and horse-chestnut 
are angiospermous. 

Gr. anggeion vessel, receptacle, sperma seed. 

angle [i] (ang' gl), v.i. To fish with rod and 
line. (F. pecker a la ligne.) 

When we go fishing with a rod and line, 
we do not expect the fish to be caught unless 

we tempt or entice them with bait. We call 
this angling (ang' gling, n.) for them. 

There is a more or less jocular use of this 
verb to angle in the sense of to fish for, or to 
try to get by some artful means,, when we 

Angiocarpous. The 

sheath enclosing the 

fruit of the beech. 

Angling. A party of anglers in friendly -rivalry 
on the banks of the River Glen, in Lincolnshire. 

say ; " He angled for an invitation." We 
mean that, feeling almost "certain that he 
would not get an invitation in the ordinary 
way, he tried by some form of flattery or 
coaxing or artifice to obtain one. An angler 
(ang' gler, n.) is a fisherman, one who fishes 
with a rod, line, and hook. All fishermen are 
not anglers. An angler is the most skilful 
fisherman of any, the gentle art being a 
different matter from catching fish with nets, 
trawls, or fishing lines. The angler uses 
many lures or baits, according to the kind 
of fish he desires to capture, the highest skill 
being required in angling with an artificial 
fly. The finest fish caught by anglers in 
Britain is the salmon. Of recent years, 
angling with rod and line in salt water has 
greatly increased in popularity. 

The biggest fish caught by anglers are 
probably the sharks and sword fisK off the 
coast of New Zealand, the following being the 
weights of fish actually caught there on rod 
and line : Mako shark, 558 Ibs. ; sword fish, 
528 Ibs. ; thresher shark, 520 Ibs. 

A.-S. angel hook (cp. Gr. angkylos bent, 
hooked, L. uncus). 

angle [2] (ang'gl), n. A corner; a space 
between two lines or planes that meet each 
other; a sharp projection. (F. angle, coin.) 

An angle is said to 
be acute or obtuse 
according to 
whether it is smaller 
or greater than a 
right angle (90). 
In the accompany- ' 
ing illustration ADC 

is a right angle ; ADB is an acute angle ; 
BDE an obtuse angle ; ADE a straight 




Angler-fish. From three to six feet long, it angles with the tendrils on its first head-tentacle. The photographs 

show the angler-fish before and after a meal, and a fish three times the length of the diner, which can be 

swallowed by one of these strange creatures. 

angle. Builders use the word angle-bead (n.) 
to describe a wooden strip or beading which is 
fixed on a sharp corner as an ornament or to 
prevent a corner from hurting anyone. 

Anything which has one or more angles is 
sometimes said to be angled (ang' gld, adj.). 
An angle-iron (:) is an L-shaped iron bar 
used for strengthening frameworks. An in- 
strument used for measuring angles is called 
an anglemeter (n.) or clinometer. 

When you put a stick into water it appears 
to be bent, and the apparent angle is called 
the angle of refraction. Rays of light are 
always bent in this way when passing through 
one substance to another, such as from air 
through water or glass. If you pile up sand 
or sugar or earth in a heap, the slope at 
which the heap comes to rest is called 
the angle of repose. 

Artists and architects talk about the angle 
of vision, the angle at which objects are seen 
and which gives them their apparent size. 
Builders use the word angle-tie (n.) for a 
piece of timber placed across an angle in the 
roofs of houses. Anything placed at an angle 
is said to be placed angle- wise (adv.). 

Angle is a term in lawn tennis, and means 
to drive the ball across the net at an angle, 

as from the server's right-hand court to the 
opponent's right-hand court. The term is 
also applied to the angle given to such a 

F. from L. angulus (cp. Gr. angkylos bent). 

Angle [3] (ang' gl), n. One of the tribe of 
settlers who came from North Germany to 
Britain in the fifth and sixth centuries A.D. 
(F. Angle.) 

To the Angles we owe the name England 
(Angleland). They settled chiefly in the 
northern, central, and eastern counties of 
England, and in southern Scotland. A 
native of Norfolk or Suffolk is still called an 
East Anglian (ang' gli an, n.). 

A.-S. Engel, Angel, L. Angli, from Angeln, a 
district in Schleswig. 

angler-fish (ang' gler fish), n. A fish 
which angles for its food. (F. baudrois, diabls 
de mer.) 

Itself a fisher, the angler-fish sometimes 
called frog-fish, fishing-frog, sea devil, or 
wide gab is an enemy of fishermen. Unfit 
for food itself, it destroys great numbers of 
food fishes. 

It angles only in its quieter moments, 
lying among seaweed and dangling the 
tendrils, which float upwards from its nose 




like a bait. It is found in the North Sea. 
Its scientific name is Lophius piscatorius . 

A.-S. angel hook (cp. Gr. angkylos bent, 
crooked, L. uncus). 

Anglican (ang' gli kan), adj. Belonging 
to the English, or possessing English char- 
acteristics, n. A member ot the. Church of 
England. (F. Anglican.) 

The word is applied particularly to the 
Church of England. Anglicanism (ang' gli kan 
izm, n.) is the doctrines, principles, and 
practices of the Church of England. 

L.L. Anglicanus belonging to the Angli or 

Anglice (ang' gli se), adv. In English. 
(F. en anglais.) 

The Germans call their cathedral town on 
the Rhine, Coin. We know it as Cologne. 
This may be expressed " Coin, Anglice 
Cologne." The word may also mean in the 
English manner or form. 

Adverb from L.L. Anglicus English. 

Anglicism (ang' gh sizm), n. An English 
idiom or mode of expression ; an English 
characteristic or peculiarity ; English poli- 
tical principles. (F. anglicisme.) 

We may speak of the practice of ending a 
sentence with a preposition, or of a particular 
English fashion as an Anglicism, and a 
politician may refer to a certain method of 
managing public affairs as a typical anglicism. 
To Anglicize (ang' gli slz, v.t.), say, a Latin 
word is to give it an English form. 

L.L. Anglicus English, and suffix -ism (L. 
-ismus) forming abstract nouns. 

Anglo-American (ang glo a mer' i kan), 
n. A person . born in England who has 
settled in America ; a descendant of such a 
person, adj. Relating to England and 
America or to the relations between their 
peoples ; relating to Anglo-Americans. (F. 

An Anglo-American treaty is one made 
between the Governments of England and 
the United States. 

Anglo-Catholic (ang glo kath' 6 lik), n. 
A member of the High Church party of the 
Church of England, which claims that the 
Anglican Church is part of the Catholic 
Church. (F. anglo-catholique.) 

The Anglo-Catholic party claims that its 
orders can be traced in direct succession from 
the apostles ; that its doctrines are those of 
the apostles and of the Catholic Church. 
Anglo-Catholicism (ang glo ka thol' i sizm, 
n.) is the teaching of the Anglo-Catholics. 

Anglo-French (ang glo frensh'), n. The 
dialect of the French language used in 
England after the Norman Conquest, adj. 
Relating to this dialect ; relating to the 
English and French peoples. (F. anglo- 

In England law reports were written in 
Anglo-French until about the year 1600. The 
Entente Cordiale was an Anglo-French under- 
standing which led to the alliance of England 
with France in the World War (1914-18). 

Anglo-Indian (ang g!5 in' dr an), . An 
English person born in India or who has spent 
much of his life there ; the offspring and any 
descendant of English and Indian parents, adj. 
Relating to such persons. (F. anglo-indien.) 
Anglomania (ang glo ma' ni a), n. Ex- 
cessive admiration and imitation of English 
customs by foreigners. (F. anglomanie.) 

An Anglomaniac (ang glo ma' ni ak, n.) 
is a person belonging to another country who 
is over fond of everything English. 

E. Anglo-, and suffix mania, implying madness. 
Anglophobe (ang' glo fob), n. A person 
who hates England and English affairs. (F. 

People ,\vho do this are said to suffer from 
Anglophobia (ang glo fo' bi a, n.). There 
was an outburst of anglophobia in France 
after the Fashoda incident in 1898, for 
example, and during the World War (1914-18) 
Anglophobia in Germany was expressed in 
the phrase " Gott strafe England " (God 
punish England). 

E. Anglo- and Gr. phobos fear, here used in an 
adjectival sense, fearing. 

Anglo-Saxon (ang glo sak' son), . and 
adj. An English Saxon as distinct from the 
Old Saxons of Europe ; relating to such 
people ; an Englishman or his language 
before the Norman Conquest ; relating to 
these Old English people, their customs, 
possessions, language, and literature ; people 
to-day of English race. (F. Anglo-saxon.) 
L.L. Anglo- Sax ones. 

angora (ang gor' a), n. A material made 
of goat wool. Also angola. (F. angora.} 

Angora is the 
wool of the 
Angora goat, 
which is bred in 
the Angora region 
of Asia Minor. It 
is of a silky tex- 
ture, and is known 
as mohair. Shawls 
and cloth are made 
of it. The Angora, 
goat is probably 
the goat of the Old 
Testament, and its 
hair the goat's hair 
often mentioned in 
the Book of 

The Angora cat has long silky, hair like the 
Persian cat, which has replaced it as a pet. 
Gr. Angkyra, L. Ancyra. 
angostura (ang gos tu' ra), n. A liquid 
prepared from the bark of a tree first found 
round the city once known as Angostura, now 
Ciudad Bolivar, in Venezuela. Another 
spelling is angustura (ang gus tu' ra). (F, 

Angostura is used in preparing bitters for 
helping the appetite, and also as a medicine. 
angry (aug'gri), adj. Wrathful, enraged. 
See anger. 

Angora-goat. Its silky wool 
provides mohair. 




anguish (ang' gwish), n. Extreme pain or 
distress of body or mind. v.t. To afflict with 
great pain or grief. (F. douleur, angoisse ; 

Matthew Arnold, in his well-known poem, 
" Sohrab and Rustum," tells the story of a 
combat between two champions, Rustum, a 
Persian hero and the fore- 
most warrior of his age, 
and Sohrab, young, beau- 
tiful, and courageous, who 
belongs to the Tatar camp. 
The two champions are 
also father and son, but 
this they do not know till ,,c V 

Rustum in the final on- 
slaught has dealt his son 
a fatal blow. 

Though " the anguish 
of the deep-fixed spear 
grew fierce," Sohrab sue- 
ceeds in convincing his 
father that he is Rustum 's 
son. Imagine the father's 
anguish then ! 

O.F. anguisse, L. angustia 
narrowness, tightness, from 
angere to squeeze, torment. 
SYN. : Agony, excruciation, 
grief, torment, torture. 
ANT. : Ease, ecstasy, pleas- Anguiifoliate. The 
ure, rapture, relief. an ngu.tifoliate or 

angular (ang' gu lar), adj. Having 
angles ; bony ; stiff. (F. angulaire.) 

A figure may be angular, some people's 
writing is angular, while a projecting part of 
a building may be angular. We speak of 
angular co-efficient, of angular profile, and of 
a person being angular or stiff in manner or 
crotchety. In physics, angular velocity means 
the rate of motion of a body or a point moving 
circularly and measured by an angle, such as 
that of a pendulum. To be angular in any 
sense is to possess angularity (ang gu lar' i ti. 
n.). To do a thing in an angular manner is to 
do it angularly (ang' gu lar li, adv.). Leaves 
may be angulate (ang' gu lat, adj.) or angular, 
while to make anything angular is to angulate 
(ang' gu lat, v.t.) it. 

The process of making angles is known as 
angulation (ang gu la' shun, n.), so also is an 
angular shape or structure. Angulose (ang' 
gu 16s, adj.) and angulous (ang' gu his, adj.) 
mean full of angles or corners. 

L. angularis, from angulus angle, and suffix 
aris belonging to. SYN. : Formal, pointed, un- 
bending. ANT. : Curved, easy, rounded. 

angustifoliate (ang gus ti fo' li at), adj. 
Having narrow leaves. (F. angustifolie'.) 

There are many such plants, and sometimes 
their botanical name refers to this fact and 
helps to distinguish it from its near relatives. 
The rose-bay willow-herb, for example, is 
also called the narrow-leaved epilobium 
(Epilobium angustifolium) and the flax with 
pale blue flowers is Linum angustifolium. 

L. anguslus narrow, folium leaf. 

rose-bay willow-herb, 
narrow-leaved plant. 

anharmonic (an har mon' ik), adj. Not 
following an harmonic rule. (F. anhar- 

In mathematics terms like 2, 3, 4- . . . are 
said to be in arithmetical progression, and 
, J, J . . . . in harmonical progression. 
If terms do not follow the latter law, or the 
same kind of rule, they 
are anharmonic. 

Gr. an- =a- not, harmom- 
kos, from harmonia harmony. 
anhydrous (an hi' 
driis), adj. Free from 
water. (F. anhydre.) 

If some washing soda 
is put into an old sauce- 
pan lid and heated over 
a flame, it melts, then 
bubbles and steams, and 
finally leaves a white 
crusty residue. It has lost 
the water that helped to 
make the crystals, and it is 
now said to be anhydrous. 
Many other anhydrous 
substances can be got in 
that way. An anhydride 
(an hi' drid, n.) is a sub 
stance that combines with 
water to make an acid. 
Anhydrite (an hi' drit, n.) 
is anhydrous gypsum. 
Gr. an- =a- not, without, hydor water, suffix 
ous (L. osus). 

anil (an' il), n. A name ot the indigo 
plant and dye. (F. anil.) 

Arab an (=al) the, nil, Persian name tor the 

aniline (an i lin), n. A colourless oily 
liquid first obtained from indigo, adj. Made 
from or relating to this. (F. aniline.) 

It occurs in the heavy oils obtained from 
coal tar, from which it is now mainly pre- 
pared, and yields valuable dye-stuffs. The 
first aniline dye, mauve, was discovered and 
prepared by an English chemist, Sir W. H. 
Perkin (1838-1907). Of such aniline colours 
there are now hundreds. 

E. anil and -me (common chemical suffix). 

animadvert (an im ad vert'), v.i. To 
direct attention ; to remark (upon) critic- 
ally or by way of censure. (F. diriger 
I' attention ; critiquer.) 

A headmaster animadverts upon the con- 
duct of his pupils when he passes unfavour- 
able criticisms on the matter. A Member of 
Parliament animadverts on the negligence 
shown by a Cabinet Minister in reporting 
something important to the House of Com- 
mons, that is, he remarks on the delay by 
way of censuring or reproving. A criticism or 
censure of this kind is known as animadver- 
sion (an im ad ver' shun, n.). 

L. animadvertere, from animus mind, ad to, 
verier x to turn. SYN. : Blame, censure, criticize, 
rebuke, reprove. ANT. : Approve, encourage, 
eulogize, extol, praise. 



Animal. The animais shown above are : 1. Owl. 2. Bird-eating spider. 3. Cobra. 4. Bat. 5. Peacock 
Butterfly. 6. Otter. 7. Lion. 8. Seal. 9. Turtle. 10. Starfish. 11. Crocodile and alligator. 12. Pike. 

13. Beetle. 14. Edible crab. 





How Nature provides Against the World being Overrun by Them 

animal (an' i mal), n. A living creature 
as distinct from a plant ; in popular usage 
one of the lower animals as opposed to a 
human being, adj. Of or relating to an 
animal or animals. (F. animal.) 

A boy feeding his pet rabbit with dandelion 
leaves can easily tell which is animal and 
which is plant. Yet a learned scientist, 
looking at tiny living forms that move in 
water under his microscope, may sometimes 
be uncertain whether they belong to the 
animal or to the vegetable kingdom. 

While there are exceptions and uncertain- 
ties among the lowest forms of life, it is 
generally 'true that 
most animals can 
move about at will, j 
while plants are | 
usually rooted. 
Animals feed on plant 
or animal food, while 
plants as a rule absorb 
their food by simple 
contact with sunshine, 
air, moisture, and soil. 

Fossils found in the 
rocks tell us that 
animals have lived on 
this earth for countless 
ages. Some of the 
biggest and most 
powerful animals of 
prehistoric times, such 
as the mammoth and 
the mastodon, have 
long been extinct, 
while countless feebler 
species survive every 
danger. . 

Some animals multi- 
ply with such rapidity 
that it would almost appear as though they 
would overrun the world. But Nature has 
provided the necessary check in the form of 
other animals, which prey upon prolific 
species. Thus the lady-bird preys on the 
aphis, or green fly. Without some check 
mice would soon increase to such an extent 
that even the food necessary for man would 
be endangered, but their numbers are kept 
down by owls and other natural enemies. 

How wonderfully Nature has balanced one 
animal against another is shown by the dis- 
astrous results which often follow any drastic 
interference on the part of man. Soon after 
rabbits were introduced into Australia they 
became a destructive and costly pest. 

The mysterious force called life, so cher- 
ished and valued by man, pulsates in every 
animal. Thus there is a connecting link be- 
tween all living creatures, from the lowest 
microscopic one-cell animals to the highest 

Animal. Among birds that war with other animals 

are the eagles. Some of them prey on monkeys, 

stags, and wolves. 

apes and man himself, the most intelligent 
and inventive of all animals. 

Beginning with the lowliest forms of 
animal life, one can observe how, step by step, 
the various groups and families of animals 
ascend in development. Protozoa, tiny 
creatures that live in water, do not produce 
young, but multiply by the animal dividing 
itself into two. Next come sponges which 
have various methods of reproduction, in- 
cluding that of ova or eggs. Sea-anemones, 
or hollow-bodied creatures, make a distinct 
advance in those qualities which we associate 
with animals, possessing as they do tentacles 
with which they catch 
living prey. 

Above these come 
the starfishes, sea- 
urchins, and sea- 
cucumbers; and 
higher still worms, 
shell-fish, spiders, and 
insects, each a very 
numerous kindred, 
especially the insects, 
which include more 
species than all the 
other forms of animal 
life put together. 

The higher forms of 
animals are those with 
backbones, called the 
Vertebrates, which 
include fishes, amphib- . 
ians (frogs , etc,), 
reptiles, birds,, and 
mammals. The last 
mentioned a r e t he 
highest among all the 
animals. They include 
man, and animals'that 
differ very widely in their habits, such as 
whales, dolphins, and all four-footed animals, 
except reptiles and amphibians. 

The word is used as an adjective for things 
relating to animals, and also for habits, 
instincts, and so on, which have to do with 
the fleshly side of man as distinct from 
his mental, moral, or spiritual sides. The 
activity and alertness of a boy of good 
physique are often called animal spirits. 

On the other hand, a brutal, degraded 
person may be spoken of with contempt as an 
animal. He is in a state of animalism (an' i 
mal izm, n.) or animality (an i mal' i ti, n.), 
and acts animally (an' i mal li, adv.), that is, 
physically rather than intelligently. Brutal 
treatment and degrading conditions may 
animalize (an' i mal iz, v.t.) a person, may 
cause his animalization (an i mal Jz a' shun,w.). 
L. animal, from anima breath, life, and 
suffix -alis belonging to. 




Animalcule. A Radiolarian, a tiny animalcule 
which it classed among the lowest animals. 

animalcule (an i mal' kul), n. A tiny 
living creature that can best be seen through 
a microscope. (F. animalcule.) 

A drop of clear water, fresh or salt, is often 
found, under the microscope, to be teeming 
with animal life or animalcules, known to 
science as Protozoa. Such creatures are 
animalcular (an i mal' ku lar, adj.). Animal- 
culism (an i mal' kul izm, n.) is the theory 
that disease is caused by these tiny creatures, 
and an animalculist (an i mal' kul ist, n.) is 
one who either holds this theory or who makes 
a special study of animalcules. Scientists 
sometimes use the Latin form animalcula (an 
i mal' ku la) for the plural. 

The word comes from an imaginary L. dim. 
(animalculum) of animal. 

animate (an' i mat), v.t. To give life 
to ; to inspire ; to enliven, adj. Possessing 
life ; lively. (F. animer.) 

Men cannot animate skeletons, but the 
soul animates the body. A general animates 
his discouraged troops. A bust may be life- 
like or animated (an' i mat ed, adj.), and so 

Animate. Animated pictures were the forerunners 
of the kinematograph film. A disk with pictures 
of a horse that showed animation when spun round. 

may pictures. A speaker interested in his 
subject becomes animated, and is said to 
speak with animation (an i ma' shun, n.). 
Doctors speak of suspended animation when 
a patient faints. 

To do a thing in a spirited way is to do it 
animatedly (an' i mat ed li, adv.). Anything 
which animates is said to be animating (an ' i 
mat ing, adj.), and what is done animatingly 
(an' i mat ing li, adv.) is done so as to inspire. 
One who has power to enliven or inspire is 
animative (an' i ma tiv, adj.) and is an 
animator (an' i ma tor, .). 

L. animare, p.p. animat-us possessed oi life. 
SYN. : Incite, invigorate, stir. ANT. : Deaden, 
depress, discourage. 

animism (an' im izm), n. The teaching 
that animals, trees, plants and inanimate 
objects, as well as human beings, have souls. 
An animist (an' i mist, n.) is a person who 
believes in animism, and anything pertaining 
to animism is called animistic (an im is' tik, 
adj.). (F. animisme.) 

L. anitna life, and suffix -ism (L. -ismus) 
forming abstract nouns. 

animosity (an i mos' i ti), n. An un- 
friendly attitude of mind liable to turn into 
active hatred. (F. animosite.) 

After years of peaceful relations two 
nations quarrel and go to war. Having 
fought and made up their quarrel, they are 
friends once more. Then some regrettable 
incident occurs. This revives their old 
animosities, with the result that they go to 
war again. 

L. animosilas (gen. ammositatis) , from ammosiis 
full of spirit, with suffix -itatr(-ty) of state. 
SYN. : Acrimony, bitterness, enmity, malignity. 
ANT. : Agreement, concord, friendship, kindli- 

animus (an' i mus), n. A strong feeling, 
especially one of unfriendliness. (F. hostilite, 

Suppose a man has good reasons for dis- 
liking someone intensely. If he has occasion 
to mention this person in conversation, un- 
less he is a man of a very sweet disposition, 
it is more than probable that his remarks 
will reveal animus. 

L. animus mind, feeling against anyone. 

anise (an' is), n. A plant grown for its 
seed ; an evergreen tree. (F. ani$.) 

The seeds, of- anise, which belong to the 
same family as parsley, contain an aromatic 
oil, pleasant and warm to the -taste, which is 
used in the preparation of a cordial. The 
seeds, the aniseed (an' i sed, n.) of commerce, 
are also used as a flavouring for confec- 
tionery. Anisic (an is' ik, adj.) acid and 
anisic alcohol are also obtained from the 
seed. The true anise (Pimpinella anisum) is 
quite distinct from the-anise of Scripture, 
which is believed to be the dill (A net hum 
graveolens), a member of the same family. 

The star anise (Illicium anisatum) of 
China is an evergreen tree belonging to the 




magnolia family. The leaves and seed-vessels 
have a strong smell of anise. From the 

Ankylosis (ang ki 16' sis, n.) is the formation 
of a stiff joint, and is generally caused by the 

aromatic carpels or seed-vessels, which are growing together of the bones of a joint. It 

arranged in a circle, star-like, an oil is can always be traced to injury to or' disease 

obtained, and used in place of true oil of of a joint, 

aniseed, for medical and flavouring purposes. Gr. angkyloun to bend (angkylosis, n.), from 

L. anisum dill, Gr. anison (earlier anethon). angkylos bent, crooked. K and ch are sub- 
stituted for c to prevent the pronunciation 

anisette (an i zet ); n. A liqueur made in ansilosis. 
France from brandy and aniseed. Its full 
name is anisette de Bordeaux. 

anker (ang' ker), n. An old Dutch liquid 
measure containing about ten imperial 
gallons. (F. anker.) 

It was used in England, when it contained 
about 8J imperial gallons. During the siege 
of Londonderry in 1689 by troops of James II 
there was a terrible famine in the town. Out 
of pity for the heroic defenders, people in 
England sent over two ships loaded with food 
stuffs. Steering straight for the boom, these 
ships, under the command of gallant Micaiah 
Browning, crashed through and brought relief. 
Amongst the items of provisions it is recorded 
that ankers of brandy were distributed. 

Cp. L.L. ancheria, anceria small vat or barrel. 

Ankle. The seven ankle-bones are (A) astragalus, (B) scaphoid. 
(C) internal cuneiform, (D) middle cuneiform, (E) external cunei- 
form, (F) cuboid, (G) oscalcis. 

ankle (ang' kl), n. The joint between the 
foot and the leg ; the part of the leg between 
the foot and the calf. (F. cheville.) 

When a person steps into water or mud or 
other substances so that they come over the 
ankles he is said to be ankle-deep (adj. and 
adv.) and the water or mud is said to be 
ankle-high (adj. and adv.). Ankle-jacks 
( are boots which reach above the 
ankles, and an anklet (ang' klet, n.) is an 
ornament or support for the ankle and also a 
fetter. The word is sometimes spelt ancle, 
but ankle is the generally recognized spelling. 

A.-S. ancleow, cp. Dan., Swed. ankel, G. enkel, 
perhaps connected with L. angulus and Gr. 
angkylos bent. 

ankylose (ang' ki loz), v.t. To stiffen a 
joint, v.i. To become stiff (of a joint). 
Another spelling is anchylose. (F. ankyloser ; 
s'anky loser.) 


anna (an' a), n. An Indian nickel coin, 
the sixteenth part of a rupee. (F. anna.) 

It is about one penny in value, and is the 
size of a farthing. It is not round, but has 
a wavy edge. 

Hindustani ana a sixteenth part. 

annals (an' alz), History recorded 
year by year ; events arranged in this way. 
(F. annales.) 

The annalistic (an a lis' tik, adj.) recording 
of Roman history was carried out by priests 
from very early times, but their records, the 
annales maximi, were destroyed at the burn- 
ing of Rome by the Gauls in 390 B.C. In 
later times private persons kept their own 
records in this way, and thus became 
annalists (an' al ists,, and the name 
came to be given to any historical 
work arranged in order of date. 
L. (libri) annales, adj. (books, 
chronicles) of the year, from annus 

annates (an'ats), The first 
year's revenue of a see or living 
given to the Pope. (F. annates^) 
When a bishop or other ecclesi- 
astic of the Roman Catholic 
Church was appointed to a new 
see or living he was required to 
pay to the Pope a certain portion 
of his income. This was called 
the annates or first-fruits of his 
office. From 1534 these dues in 
England have gone to the Crown, 
and have been used for the good 
of the Church of England. The 
fund, known as Queen Anne's 
Bounty, is now administered by 
the Ecclesiastical Commissioners. 
- In Scotland annates are the half-year's 
stipend to which the relatives of a deceased 
minister are entitled under an act of 1672. 

L.L. annatae, fern, pi., first year's income from 
an ecclesiastical appointment, from annus year. 

annatto (an nat' to). This is another 
spelling of anatta. See anatta. 

anneal (a nel'), v.t. To temper or toughen 
metals and other substances by first heating 
and then cooling slowly ; to enamel by 
burning. (F. temperer.) 

This process is called annealing (a nel' ing, 
n.) and it plays a very important part in the 
making of many everyday things. If the 
glass tumblers from which we drink were not 
annealed they would crack when we put them 
in hot water to wash them. If the blades of 
the penknives we use were not annealed they 
would become blunt as soon as we began 
cutting anything, little pieces of steel 



breaking away from their edges. Tools used 
for cutting, like chisels and planes, should 
never be made red-hot, as this makes the 
cutting edges brittle. Annealing makes 
metals and glass and other substances lose 
this brittleness and toughens them. 

M.E. anelen, A.-S. onaelan to set on fire, to 
burn ; the sense influenced by O.F. neeler, 
L.L. nigellare to enamel (originally in black), 
from L. nigellus rather black (dim. of niger). 

Annelida (a nel' i da), A class of 
worms. (F. annelides.) 

The group includes those worms whose 
bodies ore made up of a succession of rings 
or segments, one behind another. Earth- 
worms and leeches are classed as annelidan 
(a nel' i dan, adj.] animals. A single animal 
of this kind is an annelid 
(an' e lid, n 1 .}. -> 

L. annellus little ring, 
dim. of anulus, and -id 
a common zoological 

annex (a neks', v. ; 
an' eks, .),*;.. To add on 
to ; to acquire, n. An 
addition; an extra 
building. (F. annexer ; 

Very often, as a result 
of war and against the 
wishes of the popula- 
tion, a small state or 
province is annexed to 
a larger one. Alsace- 
Lorraine, which is such 
an annexable (a neks' 
abl, adj.) district owing 
to its. / situation and 
resources, was subjected 
to annexation (an ek sa' 
shun, n.) by Germany 
after the Franco- 

The annihilators (a ni' hil a torz, were 
finally defeated at Ulundi. 

An annihilationist (a ni hil a' shun ist, n.) 
is a person who believes that the wicked are 
annihilated after death. His belief is called 
annihilationism (a ni hil a' shun izm, n.). 

L. annihilate, from an- =ad to, nihil nothing 
(p.p. annihilates) . SYN. : Destroy, exterminate. 

anniversary (an i ver' sa ri), adj. Coming 
round every year on the same day. n. The 
return of a specially important date every 
year ; the celebration of such a day. (F. 

The 3Oth of January is the anniversary 
of the death of King Charles I of England, 
and this anniversary is still observed. 

Prussian War (1870-71.) 

As a noun the word is 
also spelt annexe (an 
cks'), as in French. In a 

large camp there, is usually a main hut or 
marquee. Any smaller building close by, 
used for games or other recreation, is called 
an annex. 

L. annectere, from an- =ad to, nectere to bind 
(p.p. nexus). SYN. : Affix, append, attach 
ANT. : Detach, separate, withdraw. 

annihilate (a ni' hil at), v.t. To reduce to 
nothing ; to destroy. (F. aneantir.) 

There is a hill in Zululand called Isandhl- 
wana, meaning the little hand. On January 
22nd, 1879, it was the scene of a terrible 
battle, which ended in the annihilation (a m 
hil a' shun, n.) of a force of British soldiers. 
The British, in attempting to overthrow the 
power of the troublesome Zulus, had under- 
estimated the strength of the native army and 
neglected to protect their camp. The massacre 
was so appalling that the general in command 
of the troops, returning later, thought it best 
to pass through Isandhlwana in the dark. 

Anniversary. The anniversary of the signing of the armistice that put an end 

to fighting in the World War on November llth, 1918, is celebrated every 

year by the placing of wreaths on the Cenotaph in Whitehall, London, in 

memory of those who gave their lives for their country. 

L. anniversarius, from annus year, vertere 
(p.p. versus) to turn, suffix -anus connected with. 

anno Domini (an' 6 dom' in I), In the 
year of the Christian era. (F. Van du 

Christian countries reckon their time from 
the year in which it is believed that Christ 
was born, and the phrase anno Domini, or 
A.D. as it is generally written, attached to a 
date means that it is reckoned from the year 
of our Lord, thus A.D. 1066. 

annotate (an' 6 tat), v.t. and i. To make 
notes (on). (F. annoter.) 

When a boy is reading a book for an 
examination he may find it useful to make 
pencil notes in the margin. This making of 
notes is annotation (an 6 ta' shun, .) and the 
notes themselves are annotations, and the 
boy becomes an annotator (an' 6 ta tor, n.). 

L. annotate (p.p. annotatus), from an- =ad to, 
nota mark. 




Annuals. 1. Cosmos. 2. Scabious. 3. Stock. 4. Larkspur. 5. Nicotian*. 6. Coreopsis 

/. Centaurea. 8. Gpdetia. 9. Chrysanthemum tricolor. 10. Tagetes. 11. Salvia 12. Nemesia 

13. Dianthus. 14. Phlox Drummondii. IS. Petunia. 16. Verbena. 



announce (a nouns'), v.t. To make 
known. (F. annoncer.) 

The crowing of cocks announces the coming 
of day. Important events are sometimes 
announced in London from the steps of the 
Royal Exchange. On the front page of The 
Times newspaper are announcements (a nouns' 
mentz, of births, deaths, and marriages. 

L. annuntiare, from an- = ad to, nuntiare to 
bring news. SYN. : Peclare, pro- 
claim, publish. ANT. : Conceal, dis- 
semble, hide. 

annoy (a noi'), v.t. To worry. 
(F. ennuyer, agacer.) 

It is annoying (a noi' ing, ndj.) 
to be interrupted at our work, 
and if the annoyance (a noi' ans, 
n.) goes on we feel we would do 
almost anything to put a stop to 
the things that happen so annoy- 
ingly (a noi' ing li, adv.). 

O.F. anoier, contraction of L. 
(, habe?e) , in odio (to be) in 
hatred =to be hated, (to hold) in 
hatred = to hate. SYN.: Disturb, 
molest,- vex. ANT. : Calm, quiet, 

' annual (ail' u al), adj- 
Yearly ; occurring or returning 
every year. n. A book issued 
once a year ; a plant that lives a 
year. (F/. annuel ; annuaire.) 

'An annual event is one which 
happens once each year or annual- 
ly (an' ii al li, adv.}. The year's 
growth iri a woody stem forms 
ah 5 annual'ring, while the leaves 
shed each year by such trees as 
the oak, beech, and lime are 
annual leaves. An annual plant is 
one which -runs its complete 
course within a year ; its life 
dees not exceed that length of 
time, and may be very consider- 
ably less. 

L. annualis (more classical 
annalis), from annus year, and L. 
suffix -alis connected with. 

annuity (a nu' i ti), n. A 
yearly payment ; the investment 
producing this. (F. annuite.) 

When a person wishes a certain 
amount of money to be paid every 
year to himself or to somebody 
else, he deposits a lump sum with 
one of the firms who do this kind of business, 
and the firm pays it back in small amounts 
year by year. The lump sum is called an 
annuity, and so is the small annual, repay- 
ment. The person who receives it is called an 
annuitant (a nu ' i tant, n.) . 

L.L. annuitas (gen. annuitat-is), from annus 

annul (a nul'), v.t. To bring to nothing ; 
to do away with. (F. annuler.) 

If a king, or a parliament, or a headmaster 
were to decree something that next Monday 

shall be a general holiday, for example and 
were then for some reason to go back upon 
this resolution and decide that, after all, the 
holiday shall not be granted that would be 
to annul the decree. The act of thus setting 
it aside is called annulment (a nul' ment, .). 
L. annnllare (post-classical), from an- =ad to, 
nullum nothing. SYN. : Abolish, cancel, revoke. 
ANT. : Confirm, establish, uphold. 

Annular. The path of the annular eclipse of the sun in 1921. 

This was the first event of the kind visible in the British Isles for 

sixty-three years. 

annular (an ' u lar) , adj. Shaped like a ring ; 
ringed ; relating to a ring. (F. annulairc.) 

The space between two circles having a 
common centre is annular, and the annular 
finger is the ring-finger. An annular duct or 
vessel is strengthened annularly (an' u lar li, 
adv.). An annular eclipse of the sun occurs 
when the complete shadow cast by the moon 
is too small entirely to cover the disk, so that 
when the eclipse is full a bright ring is left 
round the edge of the sun. 

L. annulus ring, L. suffix -aris connected with. 



annulate (an' u lat), adj. Wearing 
rings ; made up of rings. (F. annele.} 

To say, " She had rings on her fingers," is 
simpler than to say, " Her fingers were 
annulate or annulated (an' u la ted, adj.)," but 
both statements mean the same thing. When 
a tree is hewn down, on looking at the section 
cut across the trunk will be seen peculiar ring- 
like markings, one ring for each year in the 
age of the tree. This kind of marking is 
called annulation (an u la' shun, n.). An 
annulet (an' u let, n.} is a small ring, and in 
architecture it is a little fillet or ring round 

Anoint. -The anointing or pouring on of oil is one of the ceremonies 

of a British coronation. _ Charles I, who succeeded to the throne in 

1625, is here about to be anointed. 

a column. Anything ring-shaped is said to 
be annuloid (an'u loid, adj.). 

Certain ring-shaped living things, like tape- 
worms, are classed by zoologists as Annuloida 
(an u loi' da, a single one being an 
Annuloid (an'u loid, n.). Another group of 
animals, whose bodies are enclosed in a kind of 
outer ringed skeleton, are called Annulosa (an 
u 16' sa,, and an annulose (an' u 16s, 
adj.) creature is ringed in this way. 

L. annulatus, p.p. of a verb annulare (not in 
use) to furnish with rings. 

annunciate (a nun' si at ; a nun' shi at), 
v.t. To bring or proclaim (news). (F.annoncer.) 

In the Christian Church the word annun- 
ciation (a nun si a' shun, n.) is applied to the 
angel Gabriel's declaration to the Virgin 
Mary that she would be the Mother of Jesus. 
In honour of this event the Church keeps 
the 25th of March as the Feast of the 

A person who makes an announcement 
is an annunciator (a nun' si a tor, n.). In 
the Greek Church this is the title of the 
officer who proclaims the holy days. 

L. annunliare,iTom an- =ad to, 
nuntiare to bring news. 

anode (an' 6d), n. The pole 
or place where electric current 
enters ; the positive pole. (F. 

The point where the current 
leaves is called the cathode or 
negative pole. 

Gr. anodos going up, entry, from 
ana up, hodos way, road. 

anodyne (an' 6 din), adj. Re- 
lieving pain ; soothing. . A 
medicine which eases pain. (F. 

Sometimes sleep or some other 
condition or event which gives 
relief from mental pain or un- 
happiness is referred to as an 
anodyne. Time, for example, is 
an anodyne of grief. 

Gr. anodynes free from pain, 
allaying pain, from Gr. an- =a- not, 
odyne pain. 

anoint (a noint'), v.t. To put 
on or pour oil or other soft 
substance ; to consecrate. (F. 

Anointing is a ceremony used 
in many religions and is of great 
antiquity. Sometimes it shows 
that a person has been con- 
secrated or set apart for some 
special service or appointment. 
Kings and priests and prophets 
1 on their appointment received 
I this particular mark of authority. 
* Sometimes it was claimed that 
the oil gave the individual special 
ability as well as authority to 
fulfil the duties of his office. 
In the Christian Faith Christ is The 
Anointed. As the Messiah He combines in 
His Person the office of King, Priest, and 
Prophet, but according to Scripture the 
anointing of Jesus was spiritual. He was 
anointed with the Holy Ghost (John i, 32-33). 
In the early Church the sick were anointed 
or rubbed with oil and prayers were made for 
their recovery, for it was believed that healing 
virtue in this way passed to the sufferer. 

The phrase to anoint the shield (Isaiah xxi, 
5) was used when preparation was made for 




war. It had reference to the custom of 
rubbing oil into the hide that was stretched 
upon a frame and formed the shield, so that 
it might be kept supple. 

O.F. enoindre, p.p. enoint, L. inungere, from 
in in, on, ungere to anoint. 

anomaly (a nom' a li), n. Irregularity ; 
tmevenness ; deviation from rule. (F. 

A wingless bird is an anomaly. Such a 
fish as the climbing perch, which leaves the 
water, is anomalous (a nom' a lus, adj.) ; it 
behaves anomalously (a nom' a liis li, adv.), 
and its anomalousness (a nom' a lus nes, n.) 
is obvious. 

In astronomy anomaly means the distance 
of a planet from its last perihelion (the point 
in its orbit or path nearest the sun) or from 
its last perigee (the point in its orbit nearest 
the earth) . It was so called because the first 
irregularity in the motion of the planets was 
discovered in the difference between the 
actual and the calculated distances. 

Anything relating to this kind of anomaly 
is anomalistic (a nom' a lis tik, adj.). What 
is called the anomalistic month is the time 
taken by the moon in travelling round the 
earth from perigee to perigee, that is, from 
the point in its path nearest the earth. It is 
slightly longer than the true month. The 
period occupied by the earth in making one 
circuit of the sun from perihelion to perihelion 
is known as an anomalistic year, and is some 
minutes longer than the true year. 

Gr. anomalia irregularity, from an- =a- not, 
homalos even. 

anon (a non'), adv. At once ; in a little 
while. (F. aussitot ; tantot.) 

Though this word is still sometimes used 
in writing, it is now seldom heard in con- 
versation. For example, instead of sayirrg : 
" Anon came a man," we should now say, 
" Soon a man came." And instead of ever 
and anon we now say every now and then. 

A.-S. on-dn in one (minute), from on in, an one. 
SYN. : Forthwith, instantly, soon. 

anonymous (a non' i miis), adj. Name- 
less ; having no name attached to it. (F. 

If an author does not sign his name to an 
article or a book, or does not use any pen- 
name, the article or book is said to be anony- 
mous and to have been written or published 
anonymously (a non' i miis li, adv.). The 
state of being anonymous or having no name 
is anonymousness (a non' i miis nes, n.) or 
anonymity (an 6 nim' i ti, n.), and a person 
whose name is not known is an anonym (an' 
6 nim, n.). The pen-name chosen by an 
author or a name assumed by anyone is 
sometimes called an anonym, but more often 
a pseudonym. We often see the abbrevia- 
tion "Anon.", that is anonymous, at the 
end of a poem the author of which is 

Gr. anonymos without a name, from an- =a- 
not, without, onoma name. 

Anomaly. An ostrich is an anomaly because It is 

a departure from. the general rule, it* wines being 

totally useless for flight. 

anopheles (a nof e les), n. A genus of 
mosquitoes, or gnats. (F. anophdle.) 

The mosquito, which carries the germs of 
. the fever, called malaria on its sucker from 
one person to another, is a terrible plague 
in swampy places. For a long time t malaria 
was thought to be caused by riight niists 
rising from the ground, arid people m malarial 
districts were careful to go 'indoors before 
the mists rose. 

No way of preventing the disease was found 
and" in some parts of the world malaria killed 
a large portion of the population. It is held 
by, some historians that the fall of the old 
Roman Empire was due to the ravages of 
malaria in Italy. 

In 1895 Major Ronald Ross, of the Indian 
Medical Service, proved that the disease was 
spread by the anopheles mosquito. To make 
quite sure, experiments were carried out in 
the mosquito-ridden Campagna, the flat 
country near Rome. It was found that, if 
mosquitoes were kept out of a house, and 
people went into protected houses before 
dark, no cases of malaria occurred ; whereas 
most of the persons living in unprotected 
houses got the disease. The mosquito was 
thus shown without doubt to be guilty ; and 
it became clear that by killing off mosquitoes 
the disease could be checked. 

The anopheles, breeds in still water, so it 
is now the practice to drain swamps in 
malarial districts, and cover with petroleum 
any water that cannot be drained away. 




Anopheles. A mosquito, 

which belongs to this genus 

of insect. 

Besides this, long grass and bushes in which 
the insects lay their eggs are cut down. 

When the French made the first attempt 
to dig a canal through the Isthmus of Panama 
they were defeated in a large degree by 
malaria and by yellow fever, which also is 
carried by a mos- 
quito. When the 
Americans decided 
to finish the canal 
the first thing they 
did was to kill off the 
mosquitoes for 
several miles on each 
side of the line of the 
canal, and to provide 
the workers with 
houses. The fevers were soon stamped out. 

Gr. anopheles useless, hurtful, from an- =a- not, 
ophelos use. 

anosmia (a noz' mi a), n. Loss of the 
sense of smell. (F. anosmie.) 

Gr. an- a- not, without, osme smell. 

another (a nuth' er), pron. and adj. An ad- 
ditional one ; a different one ; one of the same 
kind ; any other person or thing. (F. un autre.) 

We say there is another to come, meaning 
one more person to arrive, or at dinner we are 
asked if we will have another helping of meat, 
meaning a second helping. When we say that 
is another matter, we mean it is a different 
matter. Taking one 
thing with another 
is a phrase often used 
to indicate that a 
person has taken 
everything into con- 
sideration before 
making up his mind. 

In the House of 
Commons, the House 
of "Lords is never 
directly mentioned, 
but is always spoken 
of as" another place," 
and members of the 
House of Lords speak 
of the House of 
Commons in the same 

A.-S. an one, and E. 

ansa (an' sa), n. A handle on a vase or 
other vessel. (F. anse.) 

The planet Saturn is surrounded by a 
number of broad flat rings, and when these 
rings are partly turned towards the earth 
they look, through a telescope, as though 
they were handles attached to the planet, 
and for that reason they are called the ansae 
( of Saturn. 

L. ansa handle, pi. ansae. 

Ansars (an' sarz), .An Arab people. 
(F. Ansar.) 

The Ansars of Iranian origin, and number- 
ing more than 100,000, dwell in the hilly 

Ansae. When seen through a telescope the rings 

of the planet Saturn resemble ansae or handles, 

hence the name. 

country to the north of the Lebanon. They 
must not be confused with the Ansars who 
assisted Mohammed in his flight from Mecca 
to Medina. The latter were Moslem natives 
of Medina, whom Mohammed called Ansars, 
meaning helpers. 

anserine (an' ser in), adj. Of the same 
nature as a goose ; goose-like ; stupid. (F. 
d'oie, stupide.) 

L. anserinus, adj., from anser goose. SYN. : 
Foolish, idiotic, silly. ANT. : Sensible, wise. 

answer (an' ser), n. A reply. v.t. f To 
reply to. v.i. To reply. (F. reponse ; 'repondre ; 
faire reponse.) 

An answer to a problem or a sum in arith- 
metic is a solution ; an answer to a charge, 
objection, appeal, or question is .a reply. 
This reply may be verbal, or on occasion 
concrete or practical. For instance, in answer 
to a charge, we may bring a counter-charge, 
or counter-statement ; in answer to an ob- 
jection we may bring proof that it is ill- 

To answer anything is to reply to it or 
respond to it. When we say that a thing 
answers the purpose we mean that it is 
sufficient for, or suitable to, that purpose. 
When we answer the problem put to us, we 
solve it. We sometimes say that a particular 
thing answered very well, meaning that it did 
very well, or fulfilled the desired need. 
Sometimes we say that a custom in one 
country answers to a similar custom in 
another country, 
meaning that it cor- 
responds to it, is the 
equivalent of it. 

Human beings are 
answerable (an'serabl, 
adj.) for their own 
actions, that is, they 
are responsible for 
them, liable to be 
called to account for 
them. Anything which 
is answerable is 
capable of being 
answered. An answerer 
(an' ser .er, n.) is ;one 
who answers to a 
question or supplies a 
solution ; one who 
answers back. 

A.-S. andswaru, from 
and- ( = Gr. anti) against, swenan, to swear, speak. 
SYN. : n. 'Acknowledgment, repartee, reply, v. 
Confute, fulfil, reply, respond, solve. 

ant (ant), n. A small insect of the order 
Hymenoptera. (F. founni.) 

Perhaps no insects have been the subject 
of so much study by naturalists, or have been 
found to possess greater intelligence than 
ants. They live in communities like bees and 
wasps ; they make use of 'aphides or plant- 
lice, for the honey-dew they provide ; they 
keep slaves ; and they make war like a well- 
drilled army. There are numerous varieties 
in every country, more than 2,000 in all.: 



Ant. 1. Nest of wood ant, the largest ant in Britain. It is usually found in fir plantations. 2. Wood 

ant carrying its young in pupa case. 3. The so-called white ant, which is not a . true ant, but a termite. 

4. Pseudomyrma bicolor of Nicaragua. 5. Honeypot ant. 

Ants belong to the order Hymenoptera, and 
the family name is Formicidae. The red ant, 
the garden ant, and the wood ant are 
among the commonest found in Britain. 

Ant-eggs ( are the pupae, or cocoons, 
of ants. The ant-fly (n.) is an ant with 
wings, with which both males and queens are 
provided. Some ants throw up a mound or 
ant-hill (n.) under which they live. 

The word ant is a contraction of A.-S. aemete, 
which appears again in E. emmet. , 

antae (an' te), Square pilasters. (F. 
antes, pilaslres d' encoignure .} 

Temples were often built with an imposing 
entrance consisting of two or more columns 
with, square pilasters on each side of the door. 
These pilasters are known as antae. They 
are also found sometimes at the angles of a 
building, and jutting out from the side walls. 

L. ante before, in front. 

antagonist (an tag' 6 nist), n. An enemy, 
adversary, or opponent ; a muscle which acts 
in the opposite direction of another muscle. 
(F. antagoniste.} 

People may be friendly or unfriendly 
antagonists. Two boys taking part in a 
boxing match at school are friendly antagon- 
ists, but the British and Germans during the 
World War (1914-18) were unfriendly antag- 
onists. The opposition of one person or one 
thing to another is called antagonism (an tag' 
6 nizm, n.) and people who are opposed to 
one another are antagonistic (an tag' 6 nist 
ik, adj.}. They act antagonistically (an tag 
6 nist ik al' li, adv.], and are said to antagon- 
ize (an tag' 6 niz, v.t.) one another. 

Gr. antagonistes, from anti against, agomzesthai 
to contend. SYN. : Adversary, enemy, opponent, 
rival. ANT. : Ally, associate, colleague, friend. 

antalkali (ant al' ka II), n. Something 
which takes away the power of an alkali, or 
" neutralizes " it ; usually an acid. (F. 

If an alkali and an acid are mixed in the 
proper proportions there is a very energetic 
action. The mixture gets warm, and "it is 
found that the alkali and acid have '' killed " 
each other, and the substance formed is 
neither caustic nor sour, but usually of a 
salty nature. 

Gr. E. anti against, and alkali. 

Antarctic (ant ark' tik), adj. Opposite to 
the Arctic ; relating to the South Pole or 
circle. . n. The South Polar regions. (F. 
antarctique .) 

There are many men to whom the ex- 
ploration of unknown lands is the most 
fascinating occupation in life. Privations'and 
dangers do not daunt them, and their dis- 
coveries are of great value in increasing the 
sum of human knowledge. 

The first man to reach the South Pole, 
which was in the unknown region of j the 
Antarctic zone, was Captain Roald Amund- 
sen, a Norwegian explorer. He set out upon 
a South Polar quest in August, 1910, and 
having wintered on the Great Ice Barrier, he 
reached his goal on December i4th, 1911. 

One of our bravest English explorers, 
Captain Robert Falcon Scott (1868-1912), 
had made an attempt to reach the South 
Pole in 1901, when in command of the 
National Antarctic Expedition. The party 
remained away until 1904, but unfortunately 
they did not succeed in the task they had set 
themselves. Captain Scott set out again on 
June ist, 1910, to try once more. His ship 
was called the " Terra Nova." 




In January of the next year the party 
established winter quarters at Cape Evans, 
and in November Captain Scott, with a 
selected few of his party, left Hut Point for 
the South Pole. They reached their objective 
on January iyth, 1912, only to find there the 
records left by the Amundsen party, which 
proved beyond doubt that the Norwegian 
explorer had been the first to succeed. Like 
the true sportsman he was, Captain Scott 
hid his disappointment, and the party 
started homewards. But every one of that 
brave little party perished on the way back. 

Seaman Edgar Evans died from con- 
cussion of the brain on February iyth ; 
Captain L. E. G. Gates from exposure on 
March' i yth ; and on March 29th the rest of 
the party (Captain Scott, Dr. E. A. Wilson, 
and Lieut. H. R. Bowers) died from starva- 
tion and exposure. A blizzard overtook 
them when only eleven miles from One Ton 

Sir Ernest Shaekleton (1874-1922) set out 
on his Farthest South expedition in 1907. 
His ship was- the " Nimrod," and in 1909 the 

gallant explorer reached a spot 97 

miles from the South Pole. In 1914 BBB 
he led another expedition into the 
Antarctic, and in 1921 he made yet 
another attempt. This time he 
commanded ', the "Quest." and he 
intended to ' make a great many 
scientific .investigations about the 
South . Pole. .. Unfortunately, on 
January 5th, 1922, he died on board 
the- "Quest," which had reached 
South Georgia. 

Th'e ! Antarctic continent is still 
only partly explored, but 'the little 
that is known of it reveals it as a 
vast plateau covered with ice and 
snow and entirely uninhabited. It has 
no land animals, but seals and penguins 
abound along its coast. There is practically 
no vegetation. 

Gf. E,:' ant- =anti against, and arctic. 

antares (an taT" rez) , n. A star. (F. antares.) 
A ".red star of the first magnitude^ the 
brightest in the constellation Scorpio, 
Antares is also known as Alpha Scorpii. Its 
satellite, or companion star, is of greenish 
hue, and belongs to the seventh magnitude 
group.' ./' j 

Gr. .anti^ against, resembling, the planet Ares 
(Mars). , -. 

ant -bear (ant' bar), n. A mammal 
which feeds on ants ; the great ant-eater. 

An <animal about 4 ft. long, with a tail of 
some ; i8 'inches, the ant-bear or great ant- 
eater has no 1 teeth. It is, however, well 
adapted to obtain its special food, namely, 
ants, being furnished with a very long pencil- 
like tongue coated with a sticky gum-like 
saliva. Having scraped open an ants' nest 
with its strong paws, the great ant-eater licks 
up the insects by thousands. 

Its tail is well covered with hair, and it 
has a curious habit of standing still when it 
rains, and holding its tail over its body like an 
umbrella. The scientific name of the great 
ant-eater, which is a native of South America, 
is Myrmecophaga jubata. See ant-eater. 

E. ant and bear. 

ante- (an' te), prefix. Before ; in front 
of ; previous to. (F. ante, avant.) 

It occurs in such words as antechamber, 
antedate, and antediluvian. 

L. ante before. 

ant-eater (ant' et er), n. A mammal 
which feeds on ants. (F. fonrmilier.) 

Besides the great ant-eater, or ant-bear, 
there are several smaller animals with the 
same habit of eating ants. Two South 
American kinds, the Tamandua ant-eater 
(Tamandua tetradactylus) , and the little ant- 
eater (Cyclothurus didactylus), live in trees 
like squirrels. The spiny ant-eater (Echidna) 
is found in Australia, and Tasmania, and 
the Cape ant-eater or aardvark (Orycteropus 
afro) in South Africa. See ant-bear. 

E. ant and eater. 

Ant-eater. The great ant-eater of South and Central America. 

From the snout to the tip of the tail it may measure nearly 

seven feet. 

antecedent (an te se' dent), adj. Going 
before in time or order ; accepted on general 
grounds without proof, n. A thing that goes 
or has gone before. (F. antecedent.) 

A thing which is antecedent to another is 
one which happened or was in existence be- 
fore that other. Miracles are among the 
happenings that might be called antecedently 
(an te se' dentli, adv f ) probable, if we assume 
that they took place without having been 
there .to see for ourselves. The word to which 
a relative -pronoun Defers is the antecedent. 

Antecedents ( are the various cir- 
cumstances which together make up the past 
history of a person or thing. A man of shady 
antecedents is one whose past does not bear 
looking into. In astronomy antecedence (an 
te se' dens, n.) is a seeming movement of a 
star .in a direction opposite to its actual 
course. An .antecessor (an te ses' or, n.) 
means a predecessor, one who goes or has 
gone before ; in law, antecessor is used for 
a previous possessor of property. 

L. antecedere, pres. p. antecedent (gen. -ntis), 
from ante before, cedere to go. SYN. : Anterior, 
preceding, prior. ANT. : Following, subsequent. 



Copyright, Herbert tl. Punting, F.R.a.S. 

Antarctic. In recent years part of the Antarctic has been explored by Sir Ernest Shackleton (left), who 

died in South Georgia in 1922. Roald Amundsen (centre), who discovered the South Pole in 1911, and 

Captain R. F. Scott (right), who reached the same spot a little over a month later and died of cold and 

starvation on the way back. The picture shows Captain Scott's ship, the " Terra Nova." 




antechamber (an' te chain ber), n. A 
room adjoining or leading to the principal 
apartment. (F. antichambre.) 

Before being ushered into the presence of 
an important personage into the audience- 
chamber of a king or queen, for instance it 
is sometimes necessary to wait a few moments, 
and the waiting is done in the smaller room, 
the antechamber. 

When David Rizzio, the secretary to Mary 
Queen of Scots, was murdered at Holyrood 
Palace in 1566, he was seized in the Queen's 
dining-room, dragged out into the ante- 
chamber, and there stabbed to death, re- 
ceiving, it was said, fifty-six wounds. 

E. ante before, and chamber. SYN. : Ante- 
room, entrance-hall, lobby, vestibule. 

antechapel (an' te chap el), n. That part 
of a chapel on the west side of the choir- 
screen. (F. avant-corps de chapelle.) 

E. ante before, and chapel. 

antedate (an' te dat), v.t. To give a date 
earlier than the true date ; to come before in 
time. n. A date that comes before any actual 
date. (F. antidate ; antidater.) 

A letter which bears a date earlier than 
that on which it was written is said to be 
antedated. On May 25th the fifteenth day of 
May would be an antedate. When a soldier 
is given a higher rank his promotion may be 
antedated, so that it may count as having 
been made earlier. The reign of Alfred the 
Great antedated that of Edward VII by over 
a thousand years. 

E. ante before, in advance, and date. 

antediluvian (an te di lu' vi an), adj. 
Relating to the world before the Flood ; 
very antiquated, n. A person who lived 

before the Flood ; a very old person ; a very 
old-fashioned person. (F. ant6diluvien.} 

When we talk of the Flood, we mean the 
great deluge in the time of Noah. Naturally 
we have no detailed knowledge of what went 
on in those far-away ages. The only thing we 
know about them is that what is usual now 
was probably never heard or seen in the days 
of the Flood. And so, when we wish to say 
that someone is very old-fashioned indeed, 
that he has not kept up with the times and is 
only interested in things that happened ever 
so many years ago, we say that he is ante- 

L. ante before, diluvium deluge, from dihiere 
to wash away. 

antelope (an' te lop), n. A large and 
varied group of grazing animals. (F. antilope.) 

The African eland, which Ms as big as a 
dairy cow, and the klipspringer, which is 
about the size of a whippet dog, are both 
antelopes. There are members of this group 
of ruminants, like the sable antelope of South 
Africa, that are plainly named antelopes. On 
the other hand, many true antelopes furnish 
no such clue in their names for example, 
the springbok, gazelle, saiga, dibatag, black- 
buck, chiru, gnu, hartebeest, etc. The word 
antelope may, therefore, be said to be a 
general term, like the word deer. Within this 
term are included many and varied grazing 
animals, which, being neither deer, goats, 
sheep, nor cattle, are conveniently described 
as antelopes. Nearly all antelopes are African 
species. They belong to the order of hoofed 
animals, the scientific name ^of which is 

Gr. anthalops, L.L. antalopus. The origin of the 
word appears to be quite unknown. 

Antechamber. Court jesters in the antechamber or waiting-room of a king, ready to be summoned to amu*e 
the monarch. Charles I was the last king of England to employ a professional mirth-maker. 




Antelope. The blackbuck or Indian antelope, one 

of the fastest runners and highest leapers among 


antemundane (an te mun' dan), adj. 
Relating to the time before the world was 
created. (F. d'avant la creation du monde.) 

L. ante before, mundus world, suffix -ane 
(L. -anus) belonging to. 

antenna (an ten' a), n. An organ of sense 
in pairs on the heads of insects and shell-fish ; 
a paired process in some orchids ; a wire or 
wires for sending out or catching the waves 
used in wireless telegraphy and telephony ; 
an aerial. (F. antenne.} 

Charles Darwin borrowed this term from 
zoology, and used it for the long, slender 
processes or rods found in the flowers 
of certain orchids. These processes are 
sensitive and when touched they respond by 
jerking the pollen-mass out of the flower. 
The antennal (an ten' al, adj.) or antennary 
(an ten' ar i, adj,) nerve is that which supplies 
the antennae (an ten' e, The head of a 
butterfly is antenniferous (an ten if er us, 
adj.), while the .fruits of certain plants are 
said to be antenniform (an ten' i form, adj.) 
because the two styles resemble antennae in 
shape. It was from the idea of an antenna 
being a " feeler," that is, something put forth 
to catch or gather information, that the word 
came to be used for the wireless aerial. 

L. antenna sail-yard, perhaps connected with 
anateinein to stretch forth. 

antenuptial (an te nup' shi al), adj. 
Taking place before marriage. (F. ante- 
nuptial, d'avant le mariage.) 

In connexion with the marriage of person- 
ages of very high rank a great many ante- 
nuptial arrangements have to be made. 

L. ante before, nuptiae marriage, suffix -al 
(L. -alis) connected with. 

antependium (an te pen' di um), n. A 
veil for covering the front of an altar. Also 
an ornamental panel, though this is usually 
called a frontal. (F. antependium.) 

L. ante in front, pendere to hang. 

antepenultimate (an te pen ul ' ti mat) , adj. 
Occurring two before the last. n. That which 
occurs in this order. (F. antepenultieme.) 

In a word of three or more syllables the 
last syllable but one is the penultimate and 
the last but two the antepenultimate. For 
example, the antepenultimate syllable of 
" substantiate " is " stan." The word is 
used chiefly of syllables, but sometimes of 
other things and of people. Another form of 
the word, also used both as adjective and 
noun, is antepenult (an te pen ult'). 

L. antepaenultimus, from ante before, paene 
almost, ultimus last. 

anteprandial (an te pran' di al), adj. 
Happening before dinner. (F. du matin, 
d'avant diner.) 

This is rather an affected word, chiefly used 
humorously. A pipe smoked just before dinner 
might be said to be an anteprandial pipe. 

L. ante before, prandium luncheon, dinner, 
suffix -al (L. -alis) connected with. 

anterior (an ter' i or), adj. More t6 the 
front ; before. (F. anterieur.) 

A horse is anterior to a cart ; to-day is 
anterior to to-morrow. We might say of an 
opinion we used to hold that we thought that 

Antennae. The antennae of a gnat, greatly enlarged. 
They are probably organs of smell and touch. 

anteriorly (an ter' i or li, adv.), or we might 
speak of the anteriority (an ter i or' i ti, n.) 
of one thing which happened before another. 
But these two derivatives are seldom used. 

L.L. anterior more in front, comparative of an 
assumed adj. anterus, from ante. SYN. : Fore, 
leading, preceding, prior. ANT. : After, follow- 
ing, posterior, subsequent, succeeding. 

anteroom, (an' te rum), n. A room form- 
ing the entrance to another. (F. antichambre.) 

At a king's court in former days there was 
an anteroom from which a door led into the 
king's presence. In the anteroom courtiers 
and those who had business with the king 
waited until he was ready to see them. 

E. ante- and room. SYN. : Antechamber, 
entrance-hall, lobby, vestibule. 




anthelion (an the' li on) n. A bright, 
ring formed on a cloud or fog-bank, opposite 
the sun. (F. anthelie.) 

In Alpine and Polar regions one or more 
faintly luminous rings are sometimes seen 
around the head of a person's shadow thrown 
on a cloud, fog-bank, or a dew- mmm ^^ m 
covered grassy slope when the near the horizon. These are 
caused by diffraction of light. As 
many as four concentric rings or 
anthelia (an the li a, have 
been seen, like haloes, decreasing 
in brightness from the centre 

Gr. antelios (later anthelios, neuter 
-o),from anth- =anti opposite, helios 

anthem (an' them), n. A 
hymn of praise or prayer arranged 
particularly for the choir. (F. 

Anthems were first written 
to be sung in alternate parts. 
Orlando Gibbons (1583-1625) in- 
troduced solos into them, and 
Henry Purcell (about 1658-95) 
brought into use duets, trios, 
etc., in connexion with them. 
The words of an anthem are 
usually taken from Scripture or 
the Liturgy. 

A.-S. antefn, antem, L.L. anti- 
phona, neuter pi. of adj. antiphonos, from anti in 
answer, phone voice. 

Anthemis (an' the mis), n. A genus of 
composite plants. (F. anthemis.) 

The name was probably given because of 
the abundance of flowers borne by the plants. 
The best known are the sweet camomile 
(Anthemis nobilis) and the stinking camomile 
(A. cotula), the so-called wild camomile 
(Matricaria chamomilla) not being a true 
Anthemis. All the Anthemis plants contain a 
bitter tonic oil which makes the flower-heads 
useful for poultices and a medicinal beverage. 

Gr. anthemis a herb resembling camomile, from 
anthos flower. 

anthemium (an the' mi um), n. A kind of 
leafy or floral decoration. (F. anthemium.) 

From the East the Greeks borrowed and 
adapted this kind of ornamental design, 
which is based on foliage and flowers, especi- 
ally of the palm and the honeysuckle. They 
made skilful use of it, especially in architec- 
ture, pottery, jewellery, and dress fabrics. 

Gr. anthemion, from anthos flower. 

anther (an' ther), n. The part of a 
stamen which produces pollen. (F. anthere.) 

Flowers that possess stamens are antheri- 
ferous (an ther if er us, adj.) or anther- 
bearing. When objects resembling anthers 
are produced on flower-bracts or elsewhere 
they are said to be antheroid (an' ther oid, 
adj.). That which belongs to or pertains to 
anthers is antheral (an' ther al, adj.). 

L. anthera medicine made from flowers, from 
Gr. antheros flowery, from anthos young shoot. 

Anther. Ripe pollen 

oozing from the anther 

of a Bermuda lily. 

anther-dust (an' ther dust), n. The 
fertilizing pollen produced by the anthers of a 
flower. (F. poussiere fecondante.) 
Gr. E. anther and dust. 

antheridium (an ther id' i um), . An 
organ in flowerless plants, such as ferns, 
- ^ BB ____ mosses, algae, and fungi that 
produces a fertilizing element 
corresponding to pollen. (F. 

In ferns the antheridia (an ther 
id' i a, are produced on the 
flat green leafy object which 
develops from the spore ; in such 
mosses as the hair moss on the 
growing point with its rosette of 
leaves ; and in bladder-wrack in 
pear-shaped, hollow vessels. 

L. anthera, E. anther, and dim. 
suffix -idium. 

anther-valve (an' ther valv), 
n. The opening in the mature 
anther through which the pollen 
is discharged or exposed. (F. 
valve d'anthere.) 

This opening may take the 
form of a slit or a pore ; and 
when the slit is semi-circular a 
valve or trap-door is formed, as 
in barberry and bay laurel. The 
term anther-valve is by some 
confined to such trap-doors, but 
since other openings often open 
in dry weather and close in damp weather, 
the term may be more widely applied. 
Gr. E. anther and valve. 
anthology (an thol' 6 ji), n. A collection 
of pieces of poetry or prose of flower-like 
beauty, or of short exquisite poems. (F. 

The finest anthology is the one known as 
the Greek Anthology, which consists of poems 
and parts of poems by over 300 Greek poets. 
One of the best-known English anthological 
(an tho loj' i kal, adj.) collections is " The 
Golden Treasury " by F. T. Palgrave. 
Edward Arber (" British Anthologies ") and 
Sir A. Quiller-Couch (" Oxford Book of 
English Verse ") are also well-known English 
anthologists (an thoi' 6 jists, 

Gr. anthologia, from anthos flower, -logia 
collection, from legein to collect. 

Anthony (an' to ni), n. The smallest pig 
in a litter. (F. antoine.) 

St. Anthony was the patron saint of swine- 
herds, and a common custom in the Middle 
Ages was to dedicate one, usually the small- 
est, of each litter of pigs to him. The smallest 
boy of a family is occasionally termed an 

The disease erysipelas is sometimes called 
St. Anthony's Fire. This name had its origin 
in a belief, widely held in olden times, that 
those who prayed for the mediation of St. 
Anthony recovered from the great outbreak of 
erysipelas (then called the sacred fire) which 
occurred in 1089. 




Anthozoa. The sea-anemones were once believed to be plants, and that is why the class of marine animals 
to which they belong was called Anthozoa, which means flower animals. 

Anthozoa (an tho zo' a), A class 
of lowly marine animals which includes the 
sea-anemones and corals. (F. anthozoa.) 

They were long regarded as plants, whence 
the name, which means flower animals. They 
are tubular in form, with the mouth at one 
end surrounded by numerous tentacles. The 
corals form for themselves a skeleton of 
chalky material, the well-known coral of 
commerce. The class is also known as the 

Gr. anthbs flower, zoon animal. 

anthracite (an' thra sit), n. A very hard 
coal, which gives out great heat and little 
smoke. --, (F. anthracite.) 

Anthracite is jet-black, shiny, and smooth 
to look at, and it does not blacken the fingers 
when picked up, as ordinary coal does. 
Because it burns with a much hotter flame 
than ordinary coal, anthracite is used on 
board warships and steamships to get steam 
up quickly. Wales is famous for its anthra- 
cite. A coal or any substance resembling 
anthracite is called an anthracitic (an thra 
sit' ik, adj.) substance. When miners dig up 
the ground and find anthracite they say the 
ground is anthracitous (an' thra si tus, adj.). 

Gr. anthrakites a kind of coal, from anthrax 
(gen. anthrakos), with suffix -ite( = -ites), belonging 

anthrax (an' thraks), n. A disease 
which attacks cows, horses, sheep, pigs, goats, 
and human beings. (F. anthrax.) . a ^ 

Anthrax affects the skin and the inner' 
organs of the body. The disease sometimes 
attacks human beings who are constantly 
handling the hair of animals, especially 

wool. Hence it is sometimes called wool- 
sorter's disease. 

Gr. anthrax coal, tumour presenting a blackish 

anthropocentric (an thro po sen' trik), 
adj. Centring in man ; regarding man as the 
hub or central fact of the universe. (F. 


Gr. anthropos man, kentron centre, suffix -ic 
belonging to (Gr. -ikos). 

anthropogeny (an thrd poj' en i), . The 
science and study of the origin and develop- 
ment of man. (F. anthropogenic.) 

Anthropogeny may be regarded as a branch 
of the still wider science called anthropology. 

Gr. anthropogenes born of man, from anthropos 
ma.n,'genos birth. 

anthropography (an thro pog' ra fi), n. 

That branch of the study of mankind 
which deals with the way in which the differ- 
ent races are spread over the world and with 
the points in which they vary in different 
regions. * (F. anthropographie.) ' 

Gr. anthropos man, graphein to write, describe. 

anthropoid (an' thro poid), adj. Like man 
in shape ; relating tp a kind of ape. n. A 
kind of ape. (F. anthropoide.) 

. The word is used specially of the gibbon, 
orang-utan, chimpanzee, and gorilfa. 
Gr. anthropos man, eidos shape, form. 

anthropolite (an throp' 6 lit), n. A fossil 
mari or part of a man. (F. anthropolithe.) 

In a hole dug'&t Piltdown, in Sussei, for 
the purpose of obtaining gravel for repairing 
roads, parts of a human skull were found in 
1912. It belonged to the most ancient known 




inhabitant of England, to whom the name of 
the dawn man has been given. Remains of 
rhinoceros and hippopotamus were found 
nearby. The word is also spelt anthropolith 
(an throp' 6 lith). 
Gr. anthropos man, lithos stone. 

anthropology (an thro pol' 6 ji), n. 
The study of the history of mankind, 
physically, mentally, and spiritually. (F. 

Anthropology is the widest of all the 
sciences, dealing as it does with the evolution 
or development of man from the earliest 
times in every possible way. Anything con- 
cerning the study of mankind, or bearing on 
that study, is anthropological (an thro po loj ' 
ik al, adj.) . One who studies anthropology is 
an anthropologist (an thro pol' 6 jist, n.), and 
he studies his subject or anything relating to 
it anthropologically (an thro po loj' i kalli, 

Gr. anthropos man, logos study or science. 

anthropometry (an thro pom'etri), n. 
The scientific measuring of the human 
body. (F. anthropometrie .) 

This branch of science deals not only with 
the body as a whole, but with the limbs, 
head, hands, and feet, and also is occupied 
with comparing the measurements of different 
races and of people of different ages. A 
Frenchman, Alphonse Bertillon (1853-1914) 
brought out in 1880 a system of anthropo- 
metry to help the tracing of criminals. By 
this system every convict was carefully 
measured and all details were put down in an 
orderly way on cards. The measurements 
were taken on the left side, which is less likely 

to alter than tl\e right ; and height was 
always taken at the same hour of the day, 
since a man may be half an inch taller just 
after a night's sleep than he was before it. 
This system has now generally been replaced 
by that of taking finger-prints of criminals. 
Gr. anthropos man, metron measure. 

anthropomorphism (an thr5 p5 mor' 
fizm), n. The ascribing of human form or 
human qualities to God or other deities and 
spiritual beings, or to animals, inanimate 
things, or abstract ideas. (F. anthropomor- 

When we think of God as having a form 
and qualities like our own, though on an in- 
finitely grander scale, we anthropomorphize 
(an thro po mor' fiz, v.t.) Him. The ancient 
Greeks not only endowed their gods with 
human qualities, but made beautiful statues 
of them in human form. Lewis Carroll was 
an anthropomorphist (an thro po mor' fist, n.) 
when he made the white rabbit in " Alice in 
Wonderland " act and talk like a human 
being. Anthropomorphous (an thro po mor' 
fus, adj.) means having the form of a man, or 
it can be used with the same sense as 
anthropomorphic (an thro po mor' fik, adj.), 
namely, relating to anthropomorphism. 

Gr. anthropos man, morphe form, with abstract 
noun suffix -ism. 

anthropophagous (an thro pof a gus), 
adj. Feeding on human flesh. (F. anthro- 

This is another name for cannibal, and 
anthropophagy (an thro pof a ji, n.) for 

Gr. anthropophagos, from anthropos man, 
phagein to eat. 

Anthropology. By his study of the development of man the anthropologist is able to form an idea of what 
the most ancient known inhabitant of England or any other country may have looked like. This drawing 
is based on a few remains found at Piltdown, in Sussex. 




anti- (an' ti), prefix. Opposite; against; 
instead of ; the reverse of ; contrary ; opposed 
to. (F. anti, contre.) 

This prefix has many different meanings 
and some of them are best explained by an 
example. Its most common meaning is 
opposed to or an opponent of. A man who is 
opposed to the government of his country is 
anti -constitutional, and a man who is opposed 
to compulsory vaccination is an 
anti-vaccinationist. The Anti- 
Vivisection Society, founded in 
London in 1878, is a society 
opposed to experiments on living 
animals. A pope who is elected 
in opposition to the regular pope 
is called an anti-pope. Hatred 
of or hostility towards the Jewish 
race is called anti-Semitism, 
while an anti-Trinitarian is a 
person who is opposed to the 
Christian doctrine of the Trinity. 
Winds which blow in the oppo- 
site direction to the trade- winds 
are called anti-trade winds. 

Before an unaspirated vowel 
the i is dropped, and before an 
aspirated vowel the form anth- is 
used. Thus we write Antarctic 
and not anti-Arctic. Sometimes 
a shining bright ring is seen on 
a cloud opposite to where the 
sun is shining. This is called an 
anthelion, and not an anti- 

Gr. anti against, opposite to, 
instead of. 

anti-aircraft (an ti ar ' kraft) , 
adj. Used to drive away or 
destroy any kind of aircraft 
sent by an enemy. 

Guns mounted in such a way 
that they can fire straight up 
into the air ; searchlights ; nets 
and wires hung from balloons to 
entangle aircraft ; troops which man the guns 
and searchlights all these are anti-aircraft 

E. anti- and aircraft. 

antiar (an' ti ar), n. The upas tree ; the 
poison obtained from it. (F. antiaris, antiar.) 

The milky juice of this tree contains a 
powerful poison called antiarin (an' ti ar in, 
?..), which, if swallowed or introduced into a 
wound by a weapon smeared with it, causes 
death. A poison containing strychnine is 
prepared from antiar resin (n.), a gum which 
comes from cuts made in the bark. 

The name is of Javanese origin. 

antic (an' tik), n. A queer trick or 
movement ; a fanciful decoration. (F. 
bonffouneries, figures grotesques.) 

If a man were to walk down the road 

waving his arms about and wagging his head 

' from side to side he would be performing 

antics. Sometimes we see very odd figures or 

groups of figures sculptured on an old building 

or appearing in some other ancient work 
of art people and animals, and plants and 
flowers all jumbled up together. These, too, 
are called antics, because this kind of decor- 
ation is so often found in ancient art, antic 
being simply another form of the word 
antique, which until the seventeenth century 
had the same meaning. 

F. antique, L. antiquus old, antique. 

from the painting Lnj liunald liray. Crourit fojii/ 

Anti-aircraft. Defending London at night with an anti-aircraft gun 
during the air raids of the World War of 1914-18. 

ti krist), n. The great 
and Christianity. (F. 

Antichrist (an' 
enemy of Christ 

In the New Testament he is a great figure 
of Satanic character and power. Successive 
ages of the Church have seen in the different 
persecutors of the Faith and in the heretics 
who have challenged its doctrines the Man of 
Sin, as the Antichrist is also named, whose 
overthrow will lead to the establishing of the 
Kingdom of God. Anything relating to 
Antichrist can be called antichristian (an ti 
kris' chan, adj.). This word also describes 
anything opposed to Christ or Christianity 
and is written antichristian or anti-christian. 

Gr. Antikhristos, from anti against, Khristos 

anticipate (an tis' i pat), v.t. To be in 
advance of ; to look forward to ; to deal with 
beforehand. (F. anticiper, devancer.) 

When we anticipate an event, we act as 
though that event had already happened. 




For instance, when a person anticipates a 
legacy of money, he may act as though the. 
money was already in his possession, and even 
spend a sum of money equivalent to the 
legacy before the money really comes to him. 
Such a person may be described as anticipant 
(an tis' i pant, adj.] and his action as antici- 
pative (an tis' i pa tiv, adj.] or anticipatory 
(an tis' i pa to ri, adj.], or he may be called 
an anticipant (n.) or anticipator (an tis' i pa 
tor, n.). 

When we say we anticipate an event, we 
usually mean that we look forward to it with 
pleasure, not with dread . Children especially 
are inclined to live on such pleasurable 
anticipation (an tis i pa' shun, n.). 

In music, when a tune is being harmonized, 
the term anticipation is used to indicate that 
one or more of the parts produce a note or notes 
properly belonging to the next following chord. 

L. anticipare (p.p. anticipatus), from ante 
before, capere to take. SYN. : Expect, forecast, 
forestall. ANT. : Distrust, doubt, follow. 

anticlimax (an ti kll' maks), n. A sudden 
change from good to bad or from dignified 
to absurd, either in speaking or writing, or in 
events. (F. anticlimax, gradation descendante .) 

In 1811 the great Napoleon had conquered 
a great part of Europe in many cam- 
paigns. Italy, Austria, Prussia, Belgium, and 
Holland were at his feet. His armies were in 
Spain, and Russia, after a severe defeat, had 
become his ally. Napoleon's power had 
grown step by step until it seemed to have no 
bounds. But in that year Russia broke away, 
and in 1812 Napoleon invaded her with an 
army of 500,000 men. 

After much hard fighting he reached 
Moscow, just as winter was coming on, only 
to find the city deserted and on fire. As no 
food could be got for his army, Napoleon had 
to retreat across many hundreds of miles of 

snow-bound and desolate country, and during 
the terrible journey most of his great army 
was destroyed by cold, starvation, and 
wounds. This disaster was an awful anti- 
climax to the many victories of earlier wars. 
Gr. anti against, opposed to, klimax ladder. 

anticline (an ' ti kiln) , ri. A rock fold with 
the convex side upward, like an arch.. (F. 
anticlinale .) 

The rocks of the earth's crust are of two 
series, aqueous or formed in water, and igneous 
or produced by fire. The former consist of a 
series of layers, called strata, one below the 
other. Sometimes these layers are found to be 
almost level, at others, as a result of pressure 
on the earth's crust, they have taken a shape 
like a switchback railway. Geologists call this 
" folding." That part of the " switchback " 
pointing upwards is an anticline or anticlinal 
(an' ti kli nal, adj.] ; the downward-pointing 
section is a syncline. 

Gr. anti against, klinein to lean, dip. 

anticyclone (antisi'klon), n. An area of 
high air-pressure. (F. anticyclone.) 

The air at the centre of an anticyclone is 
calm, cold in winter, and warm in summer. 
Winds blow slantingly outwards from the 
centre. In the northern half of the world they 
move in the direction of the hands of a clock, 
and in the southern half they blow the oppo- 
site way. The coming of an anticyclone is 
foretold by the weather-glass rising. While 
an anticyclone lasts the weather is usually 
fine, or anticyclonic (an ti si klon' ik, adj.). 

Gr. E. anti against, opposite to, and cyclone. 

antidote (an' ti dot), n. A remedy against 
poison or disease or evil. (F. antidote.) 

Nature provides poisons, and yet if we 
search we can usually find substances that 
hinder or stop the action of these poisons 
upon us. Such substances are antidotes. For 

Anticlimax. The greatest anticlimax of modern history was Napoleon's invasion of Russia in 1812. The 
Emperor began the campaign with 500,000 men, of whom some 400,000 were killed, wounded, or missing. 
Hitherto his name had meant victory, but this appalling defeat heartened his enemies, and he was finally 

defeated three years later at Waterloo. 




example, the natives of the Mexican tropics 
have special herbs that are antidotes to the 
poison of snake-bites. A good influence is 
antidotal (an ti do' tal, adj.) to evil. 

Gr. antidoton, from anti against, dotos (neuter 
dotori) given, from didonai to give, L. antidotum. 

antimacassar (an ti ma kas' sar), n. A 
loose cover for the back of a chair or other 
seat. (F. antimacassar.} 

In the early years of the reign 
of Queen Victoria it became the 
fashion for people to put on their 
hair an oil called macassar. When 
they leant back in their chairs 
the oil would make a mark, and so 
someone invented a separate cover 
to keep the chairs clean. 

Gr. E. anti against, and macassar. 

antimony (an' tim 6 ni), n. A 
bluish white metal. (F. antimoine.} 

This metal comes chiefly from 
France and Italy. Unlike other 
metals, it expands as it cools, and 
this quality makes it valuable for 
mixing with lead and other metals 
used in making printing type, 
which needs the edges to be fine 
and sharp. It is also employed in 
medicine, as in antimonial (an ti 
mo' ni al, adj.] wine, which has a compound 
of antimony dissolved in it. An antimoniate 
(an ti mo' ni at, n.) is a salt or compound of 
antimonic (an ti mon' ik, adj.) acid. Such a 
substance is antimonious (an ti mo' ni us, adj.) 
ior it contains antimony. 

L.L. antimonium. The word is perhaps a 
corruption of the Arabic name itmid, ithmid, 
perhaps itself from Gr. L. stimmi, L. stibium, 
The F. form has been absurdly explained as 
anti-monk, monk's bane. 

Antinomian (an ti no' mi an), adj. 
Opposed to the observing of the moral law. 
n. One who holds that Christians are not 
bound by the moral law. (F. antinomien.) 

In what is known as the Antinomian con- 
troversy the point at issue is, whether or not 
it is necessary for a Christian to keep the 
moral law, particularly that of Moses. The 
Antinomians hold that faith frees a 'man 
from this obligation. The question was 
brought to its height by Johann Agricola, 
who disputed with Melanchthon and Luther 
(1527-1540). As an answer to the teaching of 
Antinomianism (an ti no' mi an izm, n.) the 
Lutherans quoted St. Pau. : " Do we then 
make void the law through faith ? God forbid : 
Yea, we establish the law." (Romans iii, 31.) 

Gr. anti against, nomos law. 

antinomy (an tin' 6 mi), n. An apparent 
contradiction between laws or conclusions. 
(F. antinomic.) 

For example, the doctrines of Free Will and 
of Necessity appear to be contradictory. 
Each seems to be true, yet it is difficult to see 
how they can both be true. When two 
equally matched authorities disagree the 
bame situation arises. 

Gr. anti against, nomos law. 

Antimacassar. A loose 

cover for the back of a 


antipathy (an tip' a thi), n. Dislike ; 
aversion ; an object of aversion. (F. anti- 

In Nature there are certain creatures which 
from inherited instinct are enemies. In much 
the same way, there are certain human beings, 
who, on meeting, feel a dislike each of the 
other. In such a case we say there is a natural 
antipathy between them, or that 
they are antipathetic (an ti pa 
thet' ik, adj.) or antipathetical 
(an ti pa thet' ik al, adj.) to each 

The word antipathic (an ti 
path' ik, adj.), relating to 
antipathy, is seldom used. In 
medicine it has the same mean- 
ing as allopathic, a word which 
is generally used to describe the 
ordinary system of medical 
practice as opposed to what is 
called homoeopathy. 

Gr. antipatheia, from anti against, 
pathos feeling (of dislike). SYN. : 
Contrariety, hostility, repugnance, 
repulsion. ANT. : Affinity, attrac- 
tion, congeniality, sympathy. 

antiphlogistic (an ti flo jis' 
tik), adj. Reducing inflamma- 
tion ; opposed to the phlogistic theory. 
(F. antiphlogistique .) 

Phlogiston was the name given to a sub- 
stance which was supposed to reside in every- 
thing that could be burnt. The phlogistic 
theory was put forward by the German 
scientist, G. E. Stahl (1660-1734) in the early 
eighteenth century, but was proved by later 
scientific men to be incorrect. Doctors still 
call a remedy which relieves inflammation an 
antiphlogistic remedy, and when this "is in 
the form of a paste to be laid on the skin it is 
called antiphlogistine (an ti flo jis' tin, n.). 

Gr. anti against, phlogistikos connected with the 
principle of fire (phlogiston), from phlox (gen. 
phlogos) flame. SYN. : Cooling, soothing. ANT. : 
Heating, inflaming. 

antiphon (an' ti fon), n. A sentence 
said or sung by one part of the choir and then 
by the other ; one of those sentences said or 
sung before the Psalms to emphasize the 
reference to the festival or day in the service 
of the Roman Catholic Church. (F. anti- 

In the Church ol England the practice of 
singing or saying antiphons was not con- 
tinued after the Reformation, but antiphonal 
(an tif 6 nal, adj.) singing, that is, the chant- 
ing of alternate or responsive sentences, 
remains. Such singing is called antiphony (an 
tif 6 ni, n.). A book containing a collection 
of antiphons is an antiphonary (an tif on ar i, 
n.). The present antiphonary was compiled 
by Pope Gregory the Great about 590. The 
antiphon is the earliest form of our modern 

Gr. L.L, antiphona, Irom anti against, answer- 
ing, phone voice. 




antiphrasis (an tif ra sis), n. The use 
of , word in a sense opposite to its proper 
meaning. (F. antiphrase.) 

It was an antiphrasis to give the name 
" Greenland " to a territory where only 
during the short summer is there any appear- 
ance of vegetation, and that consisting merely 
of lichens and mosses. It would be anti- 
phrastic (an ti fras' tik, adj.] to address a 
negress as a " fair lady." 

Gr. anti against, phrasis speaking, irom 
phrdzein to speak. 

antipodes (an tip' 6 dez), Places on 
the other side of the earth from where we 
are ; the people who live in such places. 
(F. antipodes.} 

The Antipodes Islands, near New Zealand, 
are so named because they form the land 
which is most nearly opposite to England in 
the Southern Hemisphere. The regions round 
the North Pole are the antipodes of those 
round the South Pole. A person who lives on 
the other side of the world from where we are 
is called an antipode (an' ti pod, n.), and so is 
a person or thing that is an exact opposite of 
somebody or something else. Places on the 
other side of the earth from us are antipodal 
(an tip' 6 dal, adj.) places. A person who 
lives at the other side of the world is an 
antipodean (an ti po de' an, n.) and anything 
concerning the antipodes or any person or 
thing that is exactly opposite to somebody or 
something else is also called antipodean (adj.). 

Gr. anti against, opposite to, pous (gen. podos) 

antipole (an' ti pol), n. The opposite 
pole ; the exact opposite. (F. antipole.) 

When two things or two people are as 
different from each other as they can be, 

as different as the North and South Poles, 
they are said to be antipoles. 

Gr. E. anti against, opposite, and pole. 

antipope (an' ti pop), n. A pope elected 
in opposition to another pope. (F. antipape.) 

The word antipope is usually applied to 
that one of two popes who was irregularly 

Prefix anti- opposite to, in rivalry v/lth, and 

antipyrine (an ti plr' in), n. A crystal- 
line compound used to reduce fever, and to 
relieve pain. (F. febrifuge.) 

Besides being used to lower the tempera- 
ture in certain kinds of fever, it is also much 
employed as a cure for headache and 
neuralgia, but if it is given in too large a 
dose it is poisonous. Any medicine for allay- 
ing fever is an antipyretic (an ti plr' et ik, n.) 
and its properties are antipyretic (adj.). 

Gr. anti against, pyr fire, fever, and common 
chemical suffix -ine. 

antiquarian (an ti kwar' i an), n. One 
who makes a study of the relics of ancient 
times, adj. Relating to this study ; a sheet of 
drawing paper 53 by 31 inches. (F. antiquaire.} 

A man who collects coins or medals or 
other relics of olden days, or who makes a 
study of such things, is called an antiquary 
(an' ti kwar i, n.) as well as an antiquarian. 
Such a person is engaged in antiquarianism 
(an ti kwar' i an iz m, n.), a term that is also 
used to describe the character or tastes of 
those who antiquarianize (an ti kwar' i an 
iz, v.i.). 

L. antiquanus, from antiqmis old, and the 
adjectival suffix -arian (L. -arius). 

antique (an tek'), adj. Ancient ; old- 
fashioned ; relating to the ancient Greeks and 
Romans, or to other peoples of ancient 

Antique. An antique dolls' house that was the plaything of a child of the early eighteenth century, when 
George III was king. It is in the Victoria and Albert Museum at Kensington, London. 




times, n. A relic of olden times ; art of the 
ancient Greeks and Romans ; art in this style ; 
a style of printing type. (F. ancien ; antique.) 

This word may be used generally of any- 
thing that is very old, but it has various 
special meanings. In art, for instance, by 
the antique is usually meant the art of 
the ancient Greeks and Romans. Before 
drawing from life became common in art 
schools students used to draw from the 
antique, that is, from plaster casts or the 
reproductions of ancient Greek and Roman 
masterpieces. Many people collect old glass 
or china or furniture or other antiques. The 
printing type called antique or Egyptian has 
all the lines of the same thickness. A man 
still young may by some pecularity in his 
appearance have an antique air or an air of 
antiqueness (an tek' nes, n.). To antiquate 
(an' ti kwat, v.t.) a thing is to make it old- 
lashioned or out-of-date, and anything that 
is old-fashioned can be called antiquated (an' 
ti kwat ed, adj.). 

The word antiquity (an tik' wi ti, n.) has 
various meanings besides that of the state of 
being very old. For example, by antiquity 
we may mean olden times, the time of the 
ancient Greeks and Romans, or the ancient 
Greeks and Romans themselves and other 
peoples, and by antiquities (an tik' wi tiz, the events and records of the times 
before the ancient Greeks and Romans, and 
the relics and other monuments of ancient 
times generally. 

L. antiquus old, ancient, from ante before, and 
suffix -cits, belonging to. SYN. : Archaic, by- 
gone, obsolete. ANT. : Modern, new, recent. 

antirrhinum (an ti rl' num), n. A genus 
of plants belonging to the fig wort family, 

Antirrhinum. An old - fashioned glory of the 
garden often called snapdragon. 

popularly known as snapdragon or dragon's 
mouth. (F. antirrhinum.) 

The name, which means nose-like, was 
given because of the resemblance of the 

flower to an animal's muzzle, which includes 
both nose and mouth. The lesser snap- 
dragon (Antirrhinum orontium) is wild and 
the great snapdragon (A. majus) is natural- 
ized in Britain. The flowers differ from those 
of the related toadflax in having a pouch-like 
swelling instead of a spur. 

Gr. anU in place of. rhis (gen. rhinos) nose. 

antiseptic (an ti sep' tik), adj. Preventing 
putrefaction ; preventing the corruption of 
flesh or other matter by harmful germs, n. 
Something that has these properties. (F. 

In the 'seventies ot last century a large 
part of the people who had to be operated 
upon in hospitals 
died from poisoning 
of the blood. Though 
surgeons took every 
care to prevent this, 
by keeping the air 
of the wards as pure 
as possible, by using 
many clean towels, 
and by washing 
their hands and in- 
struments very care- 
fully before an oper- 
ation, so many of 
their patients died 
that they almost 
began to despair of 
their own skill. 

In 1856 a great 
French chemist, 
Louis Pasteur (1822-95), began to try to find 
out why milk went sour and why beer and wine 
fermented. He found that the changes were 
caused by tiny germs, or bacteria, carried in 
the air. If the air could be kept away the 
change did not take place, or took place 
much more slowly ; and it could in some cases 
be prevented by heating or cooling, or by 
adding something. 

His discoveries set an English surgeon, 
Joseph Lister (1827-1912), thinking hard. 
Might not the poisoning of wounds be caused 
by something in the air attacking the flesh ? 
He tried spraying wounds with carbolic 
acid. The surgeon washed his hands and his 
instruments with a mixture of the acid and 
water to disinfect them. To his great joy, the 
wounds now healed up much more readily, 
and fewer patients died. 

A new period in surgery antiseptic 
surgery now began. Lister found out that 
the most important thing was to kill all 
bacteria in anything that came near a wound 
the hands, instruments, dressings, even 
the clothes of the surgeons and nurses by 
treating them with an antiseptic. For his 
great services Lister was made a peer in 

Great heat and great cold are antiseptics. 
So, too, are many chemicals. 

Gr. anti against, septikos putrefying, Irom 
sepein to putrefy. 

Antiseptic. Lord Lister, 

the pioneer of antiseptic 





antistrophe (an tis' tro fe), n. The return 
movement from west to east performed by 
the Greek choruses before the altar and 
answering to a previous strophe, a movement 
from east to west ; the stanza sung during 
this movement ; any choral response. (F 

In the Greek chorus the singers as they 
turned from the altar to the right sang a 
stanza. They then returned to the altar 
singing an answering stanza, or a response. 
The first movement and the stanza sung were 
known as the strophe ; the second movement 
and the response were called the antistrophe. 

Gr. antistrophe, from antistrephein to turn to 
the opposite side (strophe turning). 

anti-submarine (an ti sub' ma ren), adj. 
Used to find, keep away, or destroy an 
enemy's submarine vessels. 

During the World War (1914-18) the 
damage done to British warships and mer- 
chant vessels by German submarines became 
so serious that every possible way of checking 
and sinking these under-water ships was 
tried. Merchant vessels were furnished with 
anti-submarine guns ; harbours and narrow 
channels were protected by nets ; specially 
fast motor-boats were built to chase sub- 
marines and drop bombs which burst below 
water at a certain depth. 

Aeroplanes and airships, armed also with 
bombs, went out to find submarines and 
attack them. These anti-submarine measures 
in the end had a great effect, and British 
ships were able to move with much less risk 
of being sunk. 

Gr. E. anti, and submarine. 

antitetanic (an ti te tan' ik), adj. Having 
the power to cure or prevent that deadly 
disease known as tetanus (of which lockjaw is 
one sign). (F.antitetanique.) 

There are several anti-tetanic substances, 

including a special substance known as anti- 
tetanin (an ti tet' a nin, n.), which belongs to 
the class of antitoxins, but they should not 
be used except under medical instructions. 

Gr. anti against, ietanos rigid, from, tcinein to 

antithesis (an tith' e sis), n. A contrast 
or opposition of ideas ; words, clauses or 
sentences set in contrast. (F. antith&se.) 

Antithesis is a device used by good and 
bad writers alike. In the hands of a clever 
writer, such as George Bernard Shaw, it is 
very effective. Here is an example of one of 
Shaw's antitheses (an tith' e sez, : 

Your friends are not beautiful : they are 

only decorated. They are not clean : they are 

only shaved and starched. 

The following are further examples of 
antithesis : 

Better dwell in the midst of alarms than 

reign in this horrible place. 
We live in deeds, not years. 

We may speak of a Pharisee as the anti- 
thesis (or opposite) of a Christian, and of the 
dispositions of two people as being antithetic 
(an ti thet' ik, adj.) or antithetical (an ti thet' 
ik al, adj.). Words are antithetically (an ti 
thet' ik al li, adv.) placed in a sentence when 
they are so placed as to form a contrast. 

Gr. E. anti against, thesis placing, from 
Hthenai to place. SYN. : Contrast, counter-pro- 
position, counter-statement, opposition. ANT. : 
Comparison, similitude. 

antitoxin (an ti toks' in), n. Matter 
which prevents poisons from forming in the 
body, or destroys them if already there: (F. 

Toxins are poisons formed in the body by 
certain diseases. An antitoxin injected into 
a vein protects the body against these dis- 
eases, such as smallpox, cholera, and typhoid 

Gr. E. anti against, toxikon, poison for arrows 
(from toxon bow). 

Anti-submarine. During the World War many anti submarine devices were used to destroy enemy underwater 
craft. Not the least effective were depth-bombs, which were dropped by destroyers and trawlers and 

exploded beneath the waves. 




anti-trade winds (an'titradwindz), 
A name of oceanic winds. (F. vent contre-alize.} 

These winds blow in a direction contrary 
to that of the trade winds, hence their name. 
In the northern hemisphere their direction 
is generally south-west, and in the southern 
hemisphere they blow from the north-west. 

Gr. E. and against, and trade winds. 

antler (ant' ler), n. The branched horn 
of deer. (F. andouiller .) 

We speak of the horns of a stag, but really 
animals of this kind have antlers of bone, 

Antler. The entire bony structure on one side of 

the head of a deer, and also each branch, is 

called an antler. 

a very different material from the horns of a 
cow. A red deer casts or throws them off 
every spring, and grows another pair every 
summer, bigger than the previous ones. At 
first the new antlers are covered with what is 
called velvet, a soft skin which is rubbed off 
by the animal against a tree or the ground. 
In most species of deer only the males are 
antlered (anf lerd, part. adj.). The word 
antler describes, strictly, the lowest branch, 
but is also used for each other branch or point, 
or for the whole of one side of a pair of antlers. 
Sportsmen who hunt or stalk stags prize 
their trophies according to the number of 
points on the antlers. A red deer with 
twenty-four points has been shot in New 
Zealand, and Germany claims a record "with 
one having forty-four points. 
. O.F. antoillier, from L.L. anteocularis (adj.), 
from ante in front, oculus eye, the branch of the 
horn in front of the eye. 

ant-lion (anf 1! on), n. The larva of an 
insect resembling the dragon-fly ; the insect 
itself. (F.fourmi-lion.) 

The larvae of dragon-flies are very like 
beasts of prey in their habits. The ant-lion, 

too, has a larva which pounces on its prey 
with lion-like cunning and savagery. It 
makes a little pit in sand, lies at the bottom 
almost completely buried, and waits for a 
passing ant to tumble in. It kills its victim, 
and, having sucked the body, throws it out. 
The scientific name is Myrmeleonformicarius. 
E. ant and lion. 

antonym (an' to nim), n. A word which 
is opposite in meaning to another. (F. 

Antonym is the opposite or the antonym 
of synonym, which is a word that has the 
same meaning as another. The following 
words are antonyms for " good," " deep," 
and " separately " respectively : " bad," 
" shallow," and " together." 

Gr. anti opposed to, onoma name. 

Anu(a'nu),. ABabyloniangod. (F.Anou.) 

The supreme god of Heaven, Anu was one 
of the earliest deities of the Babylonians. 
His name is said to mean dweller on high 
or the high one. 

Anubis (a nu' bis), n. An Egyptian god. 
(F. Anubis.) 

The Egyptian sculptures represent Anubis, 
the supposed son of Osiris and Isis, or, 
according to the Greek writers, of Osiris and 
Nephthys, as a man with the head of a dog 
or jackal. His duty was to guard the tombs 
of the dead, whose souls he conducted into the 
next world, where he assisted Osiris in 
weighing them. The Greeks identified him 
with Hermes. The Egyptian form is Anup. 

Anvil. A smith hammering and shaping ironwork 
on an anvil. 

anvil (an' vil), n. A block of . iron or 
steel on which a smith hammers and shapes 
metal ; a tiny bone in the ear. (F. enclum?.) 

To do its work well an anvil must be much 
heavier than the hammer. The anvil of a 




steam hammer may weigh as much as 500 

The anvil of the ear is so called because it 
is struck by another bone called the hammer. 
It passes on the movement of the ear-drum 
from another little bone to the inner part of 
the ear. 

A matter is said to be on the anvil when it 
is being talked over or planned out from 
every point of view. A person is said to be 
between the hammer and the anvil when he 
is in a difficulty from which there seems to be 
no escape. 

A.-S. anfilt(e). The Old High German anafalz 
comes from ana and valzen (falzen) to put to- 
gether .(root fait to strike, hammer). Others 
connect with an- and fealdan to fold (on the anvil 
before striking). 

anxious (ank' shus), adj. Troubled in 
mind ; distressing ; very desirous. (F. 
inquiet, desireux.) 

When we say that we are anxious about 
someone, we mean that we are worried about 
them, doubtful as to their safety or well- 
being. We pass an anxious night when we 
are filled with disturbing thoughts during the 
hours of darkness. When we say that we are 
anxious for a certain time to come, we mean 
that we are filled with a more or less troubled 
desire for that time to come, we are anxiously 
(ank' shus li, adv.] awaiting it, or, in other 
words, that we are filled with anxiety (ang 
zl'eti, n.). 

L. anxius, from angers to choke. SYN. : 
Apprehensive, perplexed, solicitous. ANT. : 
Calm, composed, unconcerned. 

any (en' i), adj. and pron. One or some 
indefinitely ; whoever ; whichever, adv. 
At all. (F. quelque ; qui que ce soit.) 

We use this word when talking either of 
things or of people, though sometimes we 
join a word to show which it is we are talking 
about. When we wish to speak of any 
person, for instance, we may use the word 
anybody (en' i bod' i, pron.}, and in connexion 
with inanimate objects, we may use the word 
anything (en' i thing, pron.). Anyhow (en' 
i hou, adv.) means at any rate, or whatever 
the conditions may be, or we may use the 
word in a haphazard and slipshod way. 

Anyway (en' i wa, adv.) is used in much 
the same way as anyhow. For instance, we 
say : " Anyway (or anyhow) I shall go." 
In reference to places, we use the word 
anywhere (en' i hwar, adv.) meaning in any 
place, and occasionally anywhither (en i 
With' er, adv.) for to or towards any place'. 
Some writers, H. G. Wells among them, 
use anywhen (en i hwen', adv.) for ever 
or at any time. Anywise (en' i wiz, adv.) 
means anyhow. 

A.-S. aenig, from an one, -ig adj. suffix. G. einig. 

Anzac (an' zak), adj. Of or relating 
to the military forces from Australia or New 
Zealand, employed during the World W r ar of 
1914-18. n. A member of these. 

This name is formed from the first letters of 
the words Australian (and) New Zealand Army 

Corps. Long names and titles in common 
use are often shortened for convenience. 

Sometimes syllables are left out. For 
example, during the World War the British 
soldiers called the German Minenwerfer 
(trench mortar) a Minnie. Often the initials 
are used in everyday speech, for instance, 
V.C. for Victoria Cross. The Defence of the 
Realm Act, 1914, became Dora, from four of 
its initial letters, and the soldier from the 
antipodes with his long official name could 
hardly avoid being called an Anzac. Some- 
times these words are forgotten as soon as 
the need for them ends, but Anzac has 
stayed and is likely to remain because of the 
superb daring and fighting qualities of the 
men to whom the name was given. 

Aonian (a 6' ni an), adj. Relating to 
Aonia or to the Muses. (F. aonien.) 

Aonia was a district of Boeotia, in ancient 
Greece. Within its boundaries was Mount 
Helicon, which was the favourite haunt 
of the Muses and the chief seat of their 

aorist (a/ 6 rist), n. The indefinite past 
tense in the Greek language. (F. aoriste.) 

It corresponds to the simple past tense of 
the English verb. The word aoristic (a 6 
ris' tik, adj.) means relating to the aorist, 
and is also sometimes used to denote un- 

Gr. aoristos undefined, from a- not, horlzein to 
bound, define, from horos boundary, limit. 

aorta (a or' ta), n. The great artery which 
carries the blood from the heart to all the 
other arteries except 
. those going to the 
_^J\ 7 ijjji^ lungs. (F. aorte.) 

< -^^> J rf^f r ~~* Aortic (a or' tik, 

adj.) means of or 
relating to the aorta. 
Gr. aorte, from 
aeirein to raise, L.L. 

apace (a pas'), 
adv. At a quick rate. 
(F. a grands pas.) 

This word is gener- 
ally used in con- 
nexion with the 
flight of time. When 
Aorta. The heart, show- we talk of anything 

ing the aorta (A, B). com i ng on apace we 

mean that it is either approaching or im- 
proving very rapidly. 

E. a- =on, and pace. SYN. : Fast, quickly, 
rapidly, swiftly. ANT. : Leisurely, slowly, 
sluggishly, tardily. 

apache (a pash'), n. A city rough. (F. 

This word is the name of a tribe of North 
American Indians. The Apaches were very 
fierce and warlike, and so the name came to be 
applied to street ruffians who rob and other- 
wise illtreat inoffensive people in Paris and 
other cities. 




apanage (ap' a naj), n. A dependency ; a 
perquisite. Another spelling is appanage. 
(F. apanage.) 

This word is chiefly used nowadays for a 
thing which naturally " goes with " some- 
thing else. For nearly 600 years the princes 
of Wales have also been dukes of Cornwall, 
the duchy, with certain money grants, being 
their apanage. The original meaning of the 
word was provision made for younger sons. 

L.L. appanare to provide with bread or main- 
tenance, from ap- =ad to, panis bread. The 
suffix -age comes from L. -aticum through F. 

apart (a part'), adv. To one side ; 
separate. (F. a part, separe.) 

When a person is set apart from others, he 
is separated from them. The phrase is used in 
this sense in the Book of Psalms (iv, 3) : 
" The Lord hath set apart him that is godly." 
When the parts of a thing fall away from 
each other, they come apart. 

L. ad to, pars (gen. partis) part, side. SYN. : 
Aloof, asunder, privately, secretly, separate. 
ANT. : Joined, openly, together. 

apartment (a part' ment), n. A single 
room in a house. (F. piece, appartement.) 

The plural apartments is more generally 
used, though in recent years we have adopted 
the American term apartment house when 
speaking of a house which is let off in single 
rooms or in suites of rooms. 

L. ad to, pars (gen. partis) part, side, suffix 
-mentum expressing result of an act (set aside). 

apathy (ap' a thi), n. Lack of feeling ; 
indifference. (F. apathie.) 

Apathy is a state of mind which may be 
due to any one of several causes. Some people 
are apathetic (ap a thet' ik, adj.) because they 
are simply dull-minded ; others through ill- 
treatment ; others because they are tired. 

In the early days of the W r orld War 
(1914-18), when the British forces had to 
retreat from Mons, the men got no rest for 
days on end. At last many of them lay down 
in the market square of a small town. 

A brave British officer, hearing of this, and 
realizing that they were in great danger of 
being captured, made up his mind to save 
them if he could. Finding that the men were 
too apathetic to be roused by words, he 
boiight in a shop a toy drum and a tin 
whistle. Beating the drum, and followed by 
his sergeant playing " The British Grena- 
diers " on the whistle, he marched round and 
round the square. 

The music did what his words had failed 
to do. The men began to laugh. Then one 
staggered to his feet ; then another ; then a 
third. At last they had all f alien-in, rid of 
their apathy; and so they marched away. 

Gr. apatheia, from a- not, pathos feeling. 
SYN. : Indifference, insensibility, sluggishness, 
unconcern. ANT. : Alertness, interest. 

ape (ap), n. A tailless or short-tailed 
monkey, v.t. To imitate. (F. singe ; singer.) 

All monkeys are not apes. This word was 
formerly used rather loosely, but modern 


Ape. At the top is a white-handed gibbon of the 

Malay Peninsula, in the centre a chimpanzee of 

western and central Africa, and at' the bottom an 

orang-utan of Sumatra and Borneo. 



Affect, copy, 
ANT. : Change, 

zoologists now use it only as a general term 
to describe Anthropoid apes, or animals that 
most resemble man. The apes, therefore, 
include the gorilla, the chimpanzee, the 
gibbons, and the orang-utan. 

To imitate someone, as a monkey does, is 
to ape or act apishly (ap' ish li, adv.}. Such 
apish (ap' ish, adj.) conduct is apery (ap' er i, 
n.) or apishness (ap' ish nes, .). 

A.-S. apa ; cognate forms in the other 
Teut. languages. SYN. : 
mimic, personate, represent, 
modify, vary. 

apeak (a pek'), adj. Up- 
right or almost upright. 
(F. a pic.} 

An anchor is said to be 
apeak when its chain has 
been hauled in until it is 
upright, and the ship is 
over the anchor. 

F. a- to, pic summit, peak. 

aperient (a per' i ent), n. 
A medicine which assists 
food from which the good- 
ness has been extracted to 
pass from the body. adj. 
Laxative. Aperitive (a per' 
i tiv, n. and adj.] has 
similar meanings. (F. 
aperitif, purgatif.) 

L. aperlre, pres. p. aperiens 
(gen. -entis) to open. 

aperture (ap' er tur), n. 
An opening or gap. (F. 

A crack or hole in a fence 
through which we may 
peep into the next garden 
is an aperture. 

L. apertura, from aperire 
to open. SYN. : Chasm, gap, hole, opening, rift. 

apery (ap' er i), n. The act of aping 
or mimicking. See ape. 

apetalous (a pet' a liis), adj. Without 
petals. (F. apetale.) 

A number of flowers, including those of the 
willow, oak, and grasses have neither petals 
nor sepals. Others, such as those of the elm 
and nettle, have sepals but no petals. In both 
cases the flowers are apetalous. Some flowers, 
such as the wood anemone, are really apeta- 
lous, but have sepals that look like petals. 

Gr. a- not, without, petalon leaf. 

apex (a' peks), n. The topmost point. 
(F. sommet.) 

This word was formerly used to describe 
the peak of a cap worn by certain priests, 
called flamens, in ancient Rome. Nowadays 
apex means the topmost point, as of a 
mountain, or of a triangle, but we sometimes 
use it in a figurative sense in referring to the 
highest pitch of anything, such as the fame 
of a person. There are two plural forms of 
the word, apexes (a/ peks es) and apices 
(ap' i sez ; a' pi sez). 

Apex. The cross is the apex or highest 
point of St. Paul's Cathedral, London. 

A thing placed at the topmost point of any 
object is said to be apical (a/ pi kal, adj.) and 
to be placed apically (a pi kal li, adv.). In 
botany, apiculate (a pik' u lat, adj.) or 
apiculated (a pik' u lat ed, adj.) describes a 
fruit which ends abruptly in a little point. 

L. apex, perhaps from ap-ere (p.p. aptus) to 
fasten, fit. SYN. : Acme, pinnacle, summit, 
vertex. ANT. : Base, foot, root. 

aphasia (a fa' zi a), n. Paralysis causing 
loss of the power of speech. Aphasy (af ' a zi) 
is another spelling. (F. 

Aphasia usually comes 
on suddenly. The patient 
may be able to understand 
what is said to him, but a 
severe attack may affect his 
mind, and take away his 
understanding. In some 
cases he is able to speak, 
but his speech is only a 
stringing together of words 
which have no meaning. 
Both conditions are aphasie 
(a fa' zik, adj.). 

Gr. aphasia, from a- not, 
phasis speech (phanai to 
speak) . 

aphelion (a fe' li on), n. 
The point in the orbit or 
path of a planet or comet 
most distant from the 
sun. Aphelia (a fe' 11 a) is 
the plural. (F. apheiie.) 

The word means away 
from the sun, and by the 
addition of a word mean- 
ing turning we get aphelio- 
tropic (a fe li 6 trop' ik, 
adj.), used of plants .or 
parts of plants which turn or bend away 
from the sun or a strong light. They are 
shade-lovers which behave apheliotropically 
(a fe li 6 trop' ik al li, adv.) or exhibit 
apheliotropism (a fe li of rop izm, n.). 
Gr. aph- =apo from, helios sun. 
aphis (af is), n. A small soft insect, some- 
times called the plant-louse. Aphides (af i 
dez) is the plural. (F. aphis.) 

Twelve or more successive generations 
born during one summer such is the prolific 
way in which some kinds of aphides multiply. 
Every gardener knows what a pest aphides 
often are. There are many species, per- 
haps the commonest being the rose aphis 
(Aphis rosea), which infests rose bushes ; the 
leaf -curling aphis (A. pomi), abundant on 
apple trees ; and the bean aphis (A . 
rumicis), which haunts broad beans. 

Aphides suck the juices of the plant, and 
they give out a liquid called honey-dew, 
which attracts ants, thus giving rise to the 
curious name of ant-cows, applied to insects 
of an aphidian (a fid' i an, adj.) nature. 

Perhaps from Gr. apheideis unsparing, greedy 
from a- not, pheidesthai to spare. 




aphorism (af ' 6 rizm), n. A pithy say- 
ing containing an important truth. (F. 

Hippocrates, who lived at the time of 
Socrates and Plato and was called the 
Father of Medicine, coined many aphorisms, 
one of which was : " Art is long, life 
is short." In other words this means that 
during the longest life only a little may be 
learned of any art or science. 

To utter or write aphorisms is to aphorize 
(af 6 riz, v.i.). We speak of aphoristic (af 6 
ris' tik, adj.) or aphorismic (af 6 riz' mik, adj.) 
utterings or sayings, and of something as 
aphoristically (af 6 ris' tik al li, adv.) ex- 
pressed. An aphorist (af 6 rist, n.) is one 
who utters or writes aphorisms, such as 

Gr. aphorismos, from aphorizein to mark off, 
define, from aph- =apoirom, off, horos boundary. 
SYN. : Adage, apophthegm, maxim, proverb, saw. 

aphyllous (a fil' us), adj. Leafless. (F. 

Many trees shed their leaves each year, 
and for a season are aphyllous. The term, 
however, is properly applied to plants which 
are naturally leafless, such as many species 
of cactus, and some parasites such as the 
dodder. Fungi and algae, including sea- 
weeds, in which there is no clear distinction 
between stem and leaves, are clearly 

Gr. aphyllos, from a- not, without, phyllon leaf. 

Apiarian. -An apiarian, or apiarist as he is often 
called, attending to his apiary. 

apiarian (a pi ar' i an), adj. Connected 
with bees or bee-keeping, n. A bee-keeper. 
(F. apicole.) 

A bee-keeper may be called an apiarian 
because he has apiarian interests, but the 
word commonly used is apiarist (a' pi ar ist, 
n.). His bee-hives as a whole are called his 
apiary (a/ pi ar i, n.), whether he has only a 

few, or two or three thousand, like some 
apiarists in California. 

L. apiarius, from apis bee. 

apical (a' pi kal), adj. To do" with an 
apex, or the top. See apex. 

apiculture (a' pi kul tur), n. The art of 
bee-keeping. (F. apiculture.) 

The Greeks and the Romans kept bees, and 
country people in Britain have also done so 
probably ever since Roman times. Neverthe- 
less, the art of apiculture is a comparatively 
modern development, and it is only during 
the past hundred years that commercial 
apiculture has been made possible by the 
use of comb foundations, movable frames 
to hold the honeycomb, and box hives. 

With improved apparatus has also come 
greater and more exact knowledge of the 
honey bee's habits, and the prevention of 
the diseases to which it is subject. Some 
colleges and universities now have professors 
of apiculture. 

L. apis bee, and cultura cultivation. 

apiece (a pes'), adv. For or to each 
individually. (F. chacun, par tete.) 

When we mean that each person among a 
number receives a certain thing, we say that 
they " received one apiece." If we say 
things cost a shilling apiece we mean they 
cost that sum each. At one time the word 
apieces was used, meaning " in pieces," and 
people might say " it fell all apieces," in- 
ferring that it fell apart in pieces. This word 
is not now used in ordinary English. 

E. a- on, and piece. SYN. : Distributively, 
each, individually, separately, severally. ANT. : 
Collectively, together. 

Apis (a' pis), n. A sacred bull worshipped 
by the Egyptians at Memphis. (F. Apis.) 

Regarded as the representative of Osiris, 
Apis had a black 
hide, with a tri- 
angular marking of 
white on the fore- 
head, a crescent-like 
spot of white on the 
right side, and below 
the tongue a curious 
knot like a beetle. 
At death he became APIS. The sacred bull 

an Osiris, Or an worshipped in ancient 


Egyptian hieroglyphic for Apis being hapi, 

meaning " the hidden." The birthday of 

Apis, at the period of the rise of the River 

Nile, was celebrated each year as a national 


apish (ap' ish), adj. Like an ape, or in the 
manner of an ape. See ape. 

aplomb (a plow'), n. Self-possession ; 
coolness ; the perpendicular. (F. aplomb.) 

When scientists wish to ascertain the 
direction of the earth's attraction, or when 
nautical men require to sound the ocean's 
depth, they use what is called a plummet or 
plumb-line, which is a weight attached to a 




line. This line hangs perpendicular or aplomb, 
because of its weight. 

The scientific use of the word has been 
dropped, but the general use remains. When 
we refer to anyone who can act and speak 
with perfect self-possession, and is never 
influenced by any disturbing cause, we may 
say that he acts with aplomb. 

F. aplomb, from a by, according to, plomb 
lead, plummet. 

Apocalypse (a pok' a lips), n. The name 
of the last book of the New Testament, called 
the Revelation of St. John; a revelation. 
(F. apocalypse.) 

" The Apocalypse " is so called because it 
is akin to prophecy, and belongs to a peculiar 
form of Jewish literature, which originated at 
the time of Israel's oppression and brought 
consolation and hope to the distressed nation 

Apocalypse. An illustration from a fourteenth 

century French version of " The Revelation," in 

the British Museum. 

by forecasting promises of future glory. Such 
visions were usually veiled in symbolism. 

The Book of Daniel is the earliest example. 
According to most scholars, it appeared at 
the time of the Maccabaean struggle. The 
prophetic writer, while reflecting the times in 
which he lives, interprets them so as to reveal 
the Divine forces at work, and predicts in the 
form of symbol and allegory the ultimate 
issue of the conflict. 

In Israel, from the time of the Book of 
Daniel to the end of the first century A.D., 
this manner of writing was very popular. The 
Apocalypse of Baruch, the Book of Enoch, 
the Ascension of Isaiah are other notable 
examples in this stream of Jewish literature. 

The word Apocalypse is often used in con- 
versation for any revelation or disclosure. 
We say a subject is apocalyptic (a pok a lip' 
tik, adj.) or apocalyptical (a pok a lip' tik al, 
adj.), or that it is treated apocalyptically (a 
pok a lip' tik al li, adv.), when it possesses or 
exhibits the characteristics of this particular 
form of Jewish writing. 

Gr. apokalypsis, from apokalyptein to reveal, 
from apo off, un-, kalyptein to cover. 

apocarpous (ap 6 kar' pus) adj. Having 
the carpels or sections of the ovary distinct. 
(F. apocarpe.) 

The ovary of a flower consists of one or 

more parts called carpels. When these remain 
separate and distinct, as in some plants of 
the buttercup family, and in the blackberry 
and various other plants of the rose family, 
the ovary is said to be apocarpous. 
Gr. apo from, karpos fruit. 

Apocrypha (a pok' ri fa), n. Those books 
which are not in the authorized version of 
the Old Testament, but which are included 
in the Greek and Latin versions. (F. livres 

These books are excluded from the English 
version because the Hebrew version excluded 
them on the ground that they do not form 
part of the sacred Scripture. There are four- 
teen such books, some of which bear the 
name of Solomon, Daniel, Jeremiah, and 
Ezra as their authors. Protestant scholars, 
while admitting that the books are 
interesting and valuable, maintain that 
they are not genuine or authentic, and 
ought not to be included in the Bible. 

The Roman Catholic Church left the 
question open until, in 1546, the Council 
of Trent pronounced that, excepting the 
Prayer of Manasses and Esdras iii and iv, 
they are canonical or authoritative. 

There are also apocryphal (a pok' ri fal, adj.] 
books of the New Testament gospels, acts, 
epistles, etc. which the Christian Church has 
rejected as not being genuine or authoritative, 
and which do not appear in versions of 
the New Testament. 

Gr. apokrypha (neuter pi. of apokryphos) things 
hidden, from apo away, kryptein to hide. 

apod (ap' 6d), n. A fish without ventral 
fins ; a footless animal. (F. apode.) 

A, human being has fore limbs and hind 
limbs arms and legs. A bird's fore limbs 
have been developed into wings. A fish, 
which is a vertebrate, 
that is, has a back- 
bone, usually has 
pectoral fins, which 
are altered fore 
limbs, and ventral 
fins, which are hind 
limbs, but only 
partly developed, be- 
cause they are not 
needed as are our 
legs. There is a group 
of fishes with no 
ventral fins, like the 
eel, which scientists 
have classified a s 
apodes (ap' 6d ez, 
n.pL), on account of 
their apodal (ap' 6d 
al, adj.) character. 

Gr. apous (gen. 
apodos) footless, from 
a- not, without, pous 
(podos) foot. 

apogee (ap' 6 je), n. The point in the path 
of the moon, or any of the planets, most 
distant from the earth. (F. apogee.) 

Apod. The silver eel, 
one of the apodes. 




Apophthegm. " Man proposes, but God disposes." Sir Edwin Landseer's vivid illustration of an apophthegm, 
a pithy saying containing, in few words, an important truth. 

When the sun is at its greatest distance 
from the earth it is said to be in apogee, a 
reminder that at one time the earth was 
believed to be the centre of the universe. It 
is not that the sun is in apogee, but that the 
earth is in aphelion, that is, at its farthest 
point from the sun. 

The word may be used figuratively as when 
John Lothrop Motley says : " The trade of 
the Netherlands had by no means reached 
its apogee " its highest point. Such a 
position would be apogean (ap 6 je' an, adj.). 

Gr. apogaion (neuter of apogaios, adj.), from 
apo from, ge earth. 

Apollyon (a pol' i on), n. A bad angel ; 
a name applied to Satan. (F. Apollyon.) 

This word is the Greek term for the 
Hebrew Abaddon. The " foul fiend " in 
" The Pilgrim's Progress," whom Christian 
encounters on his pilgrimage through the 
Valley of Humiliation, is called Apollyon. 

Gr. Apollyon, from apo utterly, ollynai to 

apologue (ap' 6 log), n. A short fable 
with a moral. (F. apologue.) 

The characters that take part in an 
apologue are usually animals or trees. 

L. apologus, Gr. apologos, from apo from, off, 
logos speech. 

apology (a pol' 6 ji), n. Something 
written or said in defence of what appears 
to other people to be wrong ; an expression 
of regret for an offence. (F. apologie.) 

The first is the older, but less often used, 
meaning of the word. In 1845 John Henry 
Newman, author of the famous hymn, 
" Lead, Kindly Light," left the English 
Church and entered the Church of Rome, in 
which he rose to the dignity of cardinal. 
Newman was attacked for his change of 
creed, so he published, in 1864, his 
" Apologia," a book which defended and 
gave the reason for his action. 

An apology of the other kind usually not 
only expresses regret, but admits that a fault 
has been committed. It can be used in a 
less serious sense, as when a person sends an 
apology for not being able to accept an in- 

vitation. Such a letter or speech is apologetic 
(a pol 6 jet' ik, adj.), or apologetical (a pol 6 
jet' ik at, adj..), and expresses regret apolo- 
getically (a pol 6 jet' ik al li, adv.).. 

Cardinal Newman, when writing his book, 
was an apologist (a pol' 6 jist, n.) or a de- 
fender of the course he had taken. A person 
who defends himself in this manner makes 
use of arguments called apologetics (a pol 6 
jet' iks, and one who makes an apology 
is said to apologize (a pol' 6 jlz) for his 

Gr. L. apologia, from apo from, off, logos 
speech. SYN. : Defence, excuse, explanation, 
justification, vindication. ANT. : Censure, 
charge, insult, offence, wrong. 

apophthegm (ap' 6 them), n. A terse, 
pithy saying, containing an important truth 
(F. apophthegms.) * 

" Man proposes, but God disposes " is an 
apophthegm, or an apophthegmatic (ap 6 theg 
mat' ik, adj.) statement. A truth may be 
apophthegmatically (ap 6 theg mat' ik al li, 
adv.) expressed. 

Gr. apophthegma something uttered, from apo 
from, out, phthenggesthai to speak plainly. SYN. : 
Adage, aphorism, axiom, maxim, proverb. ANT. : 
Discourse, harangue, sermon. 

apoplexy (ap' 6 plek si), n. A brain 
trouble, caused by the bursting of a blood- 
vessel or pressure on the brain. (F. apoplexie.) 

A person attacked by apoplexy loses his 
senses and may fall down. An apoplectic 
(ap 6 plek' tik, adj.) fit may cause death at 
once, or the patient may recover with partial 
loss of powers. 

Gr. apoplexia, from apo utterly, plessein to 
strike (plexis stroke). 

a-port (a port'), adv. On or toward the 
left-hand side of a ship. (F. a bdbord.) 
A- =on, and port. ANT. : A-starboard. 

aposiopesis (ap 6 si 6 pe' sis), n. A sudden 
breaking-off of a sentence, made for the sake 
of effect. Here is an example : " His- conduct 
was remarkable and but you all know what 
sort of a man he is." (F. aposiopese.) 

Gr. aposiopesis becoming silent, from apo 
completely, siopan to be silent. 




apostasy (a pos' ta si), n. The forsaking 
of religious faith ; the renunciation of re- 
ligious vows ; the denial of moral or religious 
truths ; the departure from moral or re- 
ligious standards of Society to which one has 
promised loyalty. (F. apostasie.) 

It was the common belief of the early 
Church that there would be a great falling 
away from the faith, of a great apostasy, on 
the eve of Christ's return to establish His 

Gr. apostas^a defection, revolt, from apo away 
from, stasis standing (stenai to stand). 

apostate (a pos' tat), n. One who is 
guilty of renouncing his faith. adj. Un- 
faithful. (F. appstat.) 

Originally the word referred to a soldier's 
desertion at the time of war. Later it came 
to be applied to a person who from unworthy 
motives departed from his creed or principles, 
especially to those who abandoned the 
Christian religion. 

To apostatize (a pos' ta tiz, v.i.) is to give 
up the faith which one has professed, or to 
leave the party to which one has vowed 
allegiance. An apostatical (ap 6 stat' ik al, 
adj.) person is one who is false or traitorous. 

Gr. apostates rebel, renegade, from apo away 
from, statos standing, adj. .(stenai to stand). 
SYN. : Deserter, pervert, renegade, traitor. 
ANT. : Adherent, supporter, zealot. 

a posteriori (a pos ter i 6' ri), adj. and 
adv. Reasoning from results, or things ob- 
served, to causes ; from a number of cases to 
a general rule or law. (F. a posteriori.) 

Twenty cows on a farm die suddenly from 
some unknown cause. They are found to 
have eaten a certain kind of berry, not known 
before to hurt cattle. There is now sufficient 
proof for reasoning a posteriori that any cow 
which swallows such berries will die. 

L. from what follows, from effect to cause. 

apostle (a pos' 1), n. A messenger ; one 
sent to preach a doctrine. (F. apotre.) 

The name was given by Jesus to those 
whom He called and commissioned to preach 
the Gospel. An apostle is a delegate or a 
representative of the person who sends him 
forth, and speaks with his authority. Later 
the name came to be given to a wider circle 
than that of the chosen Twelve. Paul and 
Barnabas, Andronicus and Junia (Romans 
xvi, 7) were called apostles. 

Eventually the term was applied to one 
who acted apostolically (ap 6s tol' ik al li, 
adv.), or after the manner of the Apostles, as 
any minister of the Gospel, or missionary, 
whose work was outstanding and fruitful, like 
Augustine, who was called the apostle of 
the English, or Boniface, the apostle of 
Germany. The office of an apostle is an 
apostolate (a pos' to lat, n.) or an apostleship 
(a pos' 1 ship, n.). The matters connected 
with such an office are said to be apostolic 
(ap 6s tol' ik, adj.) or apostolical (ap 6s tol' ik 
al, adj.). 

The Apostles' Creed (n.) is the confession of 
faith which tradition says was handed down 
by the Apostles. In its present form it can. 
be traced back to the eighth century. The 
substance of it is found in the writings of the 
Apostolic Fathers (n.), which is the name given 
to those Christian writers of the first century, 
who immediately followed the Apostles 
for example, Clement of Rome, Hermas, 
Barnabas, Ignatius, and Polycarp. 

Apostolic Succession is the doctrine that 
only persons who have been ordained can 
ordain others, and that from the time of the 
Apostles unto the present day such an un- 
broken chain of succession can be traced. 
According to the doctrine of the Church J 
of Rome and the High Anglicans, those who 
are ordained by bishops receive through.this. 

From the painting by Eugene Burnand in the Luxembourg. 
Apostle. The apostles John and Peter on their way to the sepulchre on the first Easter morning. 




succession, apostolic powers and privileges 
in the Church. The papacy is sometimes re- 
ferred to as the Apostolic See, and the 
Apostolic Vicar is the cardinal who represents 
the Pope in extraordinary missions. 

Apostle-spoons ( are silver spoons 
decorated with figures of the Apostles on the 
handle, frequently given as a present at 

Gr. apostolos one sent away, from apo off, away, 
stellein to send. 

apostrophe (a pos' tro fe), n. A form of 
exclamation in which the speaker or writer 
addresses the absent or dead as if present, 
and the inanimate, or lifeless things, as if 
capable of replying ; the sign ( ' ) 
used to show the omission of a letter 
or letters and the English possessive 
case. (F. apostrophe.) 

In Shakespeare's " Julius Caesar " 
(iii, i), Mark Antony on beholding the 
body of the great dictator after his 
assassination, exclaims : 

O mighty Caesar ! dost thou lie so low ? 

Are all thy conquests, glories, triumphs, 

Shrunk to this little measure ? 

Things without life are addressed in 
the following examples of apostrophe : 

Hail ! smiling morn. 

Frailty, thy name is woman. 

Examples of the use of the sign ( ' ) 
are : 

" Don't " for " do not."